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Democratic strategist Ana Cruz named to Tampa Chamber of Commerce Board

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Tampa Democratic Party strategist Ana Cruz is moving on up, having recently been named to the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors. A former executive director with the Florida Democratic Party, Cruz currently manages the Floridian Partner’s Central Florida office in Ybor City, a lobbying firm with offices across the state. She can also be seen frequently during election time as a political analyst for Bay News 9. “The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is the premiere business…

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Tampa officials host conference on Cuba

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Ron Christaldi, chairman of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, said today that back in 2013, a half-dozen members of the chamber visited with Vice President Joe Biden and other White House officials to discuss the potential for business with Cuba. “They asked me about what the business community wanted and were we ready to take advantage of those opportunities,” he told an audience who gathered in a ballroom inside the Tampa Airport Marriott Hotel. “There’s 17 million people in…

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Florida Senate denounces Obama overture to Cuba

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President Obama‘s diplomatic breakthrough with Cuba last December has been met mostly with approval in the Tampa Bay area among political and business leaders. A delegation from Pinellas County visited the communist island for the first time in January, while the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is planning another visit in May. And Hillsborough County area U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor will soon be hosting a summit on Cuba in Tampa. But that excitement is not shared across the state — and certainly…

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Senate committee opposes the opening of a Cuban consulate in the Sunshine State

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Although many people in Tampa are hoping that a Cuban consulate is built in Tampa, a committee in the state Senate today officially disapproved of any such diplomatic outpost coming to Florida. The Senate Rules Committee today approved SM 866, a largely symbolic bill that puts the committee on the record as expressing “profound disagreement” with President Obama’s decision to open diplomatic relations with the communist island. “Stand with us on behalf of freedom,” said Miami Republican Anitere Flores, speaking on…

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Tampa Chamber supports bringing Cuban Consulate to Tampa

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Bob Buckhorn may be neutral about the idea, but the business community is all in when it comes to the possibility of Tampa landing a Cuban Consulate. Last week the Board of Directors of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce unanimously passed a motion to endorse reestablishing a secure Cuban Consulate in the Tampa/Hillsborough County area when relations between the United States and Cuba are appropriately normalized. “The Chamber has been a supporter of re-instituting ties with Cuba, most recently through our…

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