When I got up this morning, I read the July 1st "STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENTON THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH CUBA" by President Obama. I am pleased to see normalization of relations with one of our closest neighbors finally starting to move forward. I can finally plan to travel there, as I have enjoyed living in the Caribbean in the past, and am pleased to see the US is 'already taken steps to allow for greater travel, people-to-people and commercial ties between the United States and Cuba'
President Obama went on to say, "There are Americans who want to travel to Cuba and American businesses who want to invest in Cuba. American colleges and universities that want to partner with Cuba. Above all, Americans who want to get to know their neighbors to the south. And through that engagement, we can also help the Cuban people improve their own lives".
I would like to travel to Cuba with a delegation from Sister Cities International, hoping to bring some of the people-to-people travel and commercial opportunities to my city and region of the US. Several southern California cities are already considering establishing official sister-city relations. These city pairings, very much like Public Private Partnerships (PPP), take a great deal of time to fully develop.
I will certainly take efforts to communicate with private citizens, businesses and government officials of these southern California cities about how sister city partnerships might be used to help citizens and their government agencies work together to make '...strategic decisions with regard to the level and nature of private sector participation in infrastructure and social service provision'