Tom Emmer

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Tom Emmer is a Minnesota Republican Congressman.

2015 Cuba trip

May 28, the Cuban Foreign Minister met with another delegation led by Representative Mark Sanford (Rep., SC), the author of a bill to expand U.S. travel to Cuba (H.R.664), with Bradley Byrne (Rep., AL), Tom Emmer (Rep., MN), Earl Carter (Rep., GA) and Don Beyer (Dem., VA).[1]

Meeting Castro

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says she’s hoping that a face-to-face meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro will open the door to more U.S. agricultural exports.

Heitkamp was one of two senators and a handful of representatives to meet Friday in New York with Castro, the first Cuban leader to visit the United States in 15 years.

The Democratic senator says it might be difficult to find enough support to lift a trade embargo against Cuba, but she is pushing a bill that would finance agricultural exports. Cuba has a high demand for North Dakota crops like dry beans, peas and lentils.

Heitkamp visited Cuba in February 2014 but did not have a chance to meet Castro. She says the Cuban leader has invited her to return to his country.[2]

The meeting at the request of the Cuban Embassy lasted about an hour and a half, and included Sens. Heitkamp and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., as well as about eight congressmen, including Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., of Minnesota's Sixth District.

Heitkamp said Leahy, who has a long history of working to restore relations, mentioned the need for Cuba to improve human rights, which could get "more members interested" in expanding economic relationships.

The North Dakota senator said she was impressed with Castro's openness and willingness to "listen, and hear some things" that he doesn't like. She said Castro reiterated earlier statements that he intends to step down after another two years in the post.

Heitkamp said it was one of Castro's first meetings with American lawmakers since the U.S. and Cuba restored diplomatic ties. Heitkamp has worked in many ways to expand exports of U.S. agricultural commodities to Cuba, a country with high demand for North Dakota crops like dry beans, peas and lentils.[3]

2016 Cuba trip

Representative Tom Emmer was part of President Barack Obama's March 2016 delegation to Cuba.[4]