Reuters today quotes the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donohue, as being optimistic that the embargo against Cuba can be lifted before the next president is sworn in. Speaking at the summit in Panama, Donohue — described as one of the most influential pro-business lobbyists in Washington — said he is undeterred by any potential opposition from Republican lawmakers and that he “hopes this thing can move in a pretty orderly manner.” Donohue has long opposed the embargo on the grounds that it is an unjust government intrusion on the free market.


At the same forum, the head of Citigroup’s Latin American operations tells Reuters the company is evaluating a return to Cuba but foresees the process of reintegration there to be a lengthy one for political reasons. Francisco Aristeguieta says Citi has had a license to operate in Cuba for 54 years. Reports that the State Department has recommended Cuba be removed from the list of nations that sponsor terror should remove one those impediments immediately.

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