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Gov. Rick Scott says lifting Cuban embargo could hurt Florida agriculture

Scott says President Obama 'should be doing everything he can to support' Florida's economy

MIAMI – Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that lifting the longstanding Cuban embargo could negatively impact Florida.

"Agriculture is a vital part of our economy in Florida, and lifting the embargo on Cuba could do irreparable harm to it," Scott said in a statement. "Importing agricultural products from Cuba could drive down demand for Florida products, open our crops up to invasive pests and species and give the Castro regime leverage to continue the suppression of their people."

Scott said agriculture has a more than $100 billion impact on the state, and President Barack Obama "should be doing everything he can to support it."

Obama's administration has been working to restore U.S. relations with Cuba.

"Sadly, he continues to stand side by side with the Castro regime," Scott said. "I will continue to oppose lifting the embargo, and fight for Florida families, farmers and our agriculture industry."

Scott's comments come on the same day that Obama is touring the Florida Everglades. Obama's principal deputy press secretary said Scott declined the president's invitation to meet him on the tarmac in Miami.

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