New Orleans mayor to travel to Cuba for mayors' conference
NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is traveling to Cuba as part of a delegation of mayors from around the country.
The trip was announced Wednesday in a news release from the mayor's office. It will take place May 25 through May 29.
The trip is the first by a delegation of the U.S. Conference of Mayors since 1978.
It comes as the U.S. is opening up diplomatic relations with the Caribbean island nation after decades of isolation.
Louisiana's lawmakers are pushing trade talks with Cuba, now that President Barack Obama has moved to normalize relations with the island nation.
The House and Senate have passed a legislative resolution urging the state economic development department to "develop and improve" trade relations with Cuba, within the limits of state and federal law.
The request, given final legislative passage this week, also asks the department to study possible business opportunities with the country and report back to lawmakers.
The mayor's office said that over the last two years, Landrieu has met with senior Cuban officials to discuss ways to improve relations between New Orleans and Cuba including having Cuba take part in the 2017 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the city's 300th Anniversary celebration in 2018.