NEW ORLEANS — A trip that Mayor Latoya Cantrell and nearly three dozen others took to Cuba is in the books.
One of the goals of Mayor LaToya Cantrell's five-day trip to Cuba was to build relationships between her young administration and leaders of the nation island.
As the trip wrapped up Sunday, one of those who was on it, attorney and businessman Walter Leger Jr., said economic development between the U.S. and Cuba won't come easy, but you have to start somewhere.
"We, obviously, as a nation have long-term political differences," Leger said.
Leger has been on similar trips to Cuba three times before being invited on this latest one. He said this trip focused largely on both sides meeting to learn what, if anything, they can do that might be beneficial.
One topic discussed: Education, as photos from Cantrell's Twitter account show.
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"We also talked a lot about just the opportunities that New Orleans businesses might have in terms of future relationships," Leger said.
Cantrell's press officials said the full goal of the trip was to, "see firsthand how Cuba's history has produced unique opportunities and challenges in the areas of economic development, trade, healthcare, education and other quality of life issues."
Leger said any mutually beneficial relationship between the U.S. and Cuba is one that will take time to form. But he thinks that can happen on the local level through working trips like these.
"This is one of those things you talk about what can we do in terms of the old-time relationships between New Orleans and Havana in terms of using that kind of friendliness to develop future business relations," Leger said.