New Orleans, La. – President Obama's easing of travel restrictions to Cuba for family is generally seen as a move that could lead to more open trade with the island nation. But the economic possibilities are still handcuffed to politics.
International law expert George Fowler says business may be anxious to break into the nearby Cuban market, but deals are not that simple.
And Castro is known for taking over the assets of foreign investors.
Loyola business professor Len Trevino said it's difficult to get accurate information in Cuba, which worries multinationals.
Christopher Sabatini is an expert in Latin American and Caribbean policy. He says the most likely trade to open between Louisiana and Cuba would be for agriculture and energy development. He said Cuba is now exploring 69 offshore blocks that could loosen its dependence on Venezuelan oil.
The speakers agreed that before any significant trade can develop, the U.S. government must be assured that human rights issues are resolved, something that's not imminent under the Castro regime.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming