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October 19, 1999

License Granted; Ryan Sets Historic Cuba Trip For October 23-27

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan and state Rep. Edgar Lopez, D-Chicago, announced today that the U.S. Treasury Department has granted the State of Illinois a license for an historic humanitarian mission to the Republic of Cuba, a trip scheduled for October 23-27.

Ryan, who will be accompanied to the island by Rep. Lopez, an official delegation of more than 40 people and more than $1 million worth of humanitarian supplies, will be the first U.S. governor to visit Cuba in more than 40 years.

"My hope is that this humanitarian mission will usher in a new era of cooperation and understanding between the people of our two countries. We're going to build bridges between the people of Illinois and the people of Cuba," Ryan said. "Isolating Cuba is not in the best interests of Illinois or in the best interests of the United States."

Ryan noted that 70 members of the United States Senate this fall supported a change in U.S. policy to allow humanitarian shipments of food and medicine to Cuba. Last spring, the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution urging Congress to lift the current ban on humanitarian aid to the island.

"This is a humanitarian mission designed to help fill the many needs faced day-in and day-out by the Cuban people, needs that Illinois can help meet," the governor added.

"I would like to sincerely thank officials at the Treasury Department, the State Department, the U.S. Special Interests Section in Havana, the Cuban Special Interests Section in Washington, D.C. and everyone else who understands the purpose of this trip for their cooperation and foresight in making history," he said.

Ryan will leave Chicago's O'Hare International Airport for Havana on Oct. 23 on a special charter 737 jet donated by United Airlines specifically for this mission. The delegation will return to O'Hare on Oct. 27.

The preliminary itinerary for the 1999 Illinois-Cuba Humanitarian Mission includes the following events:

  • Meet with Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, chief of the U.S. Special Interests Section in Havana
  • Meet with Cuban human rights activists, dissidents and independent journalists

  • Governor Ryan to address students at University of Havana
  • Meet with the Cuban minister of education
  • Tour teachers' training facility
  • Tour Abraham Lincoln Primary School and present gift of school supplies donated by Illinois citizens

  • Meet with the Cuban minister of health
  • Tour inter-American medical training center
  • Tour William Soler University Children's Hospital, present gift of medical supplies donated by Illinois citizens

  • Tour agricultural university
  • Tour cattle research facility
  • Tour rural cooperative farm
  • Tour the Center for Genetics and Biotechnology

  • Tour historic preservation efforts in Old Havana
  • Meet the Cuban minister of culture
  • Tour the Roman Catholic Cathedral, Havana
  • Tour the National Museum and art school
  • Visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum


    Senior State Officials

    Governor George H. Ryan
    First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan
    Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago)
    Illinois Senate Minority Leader Emil Jones, Jr. (D-Chicago)
    Illinois House Minority Leader Lee A. Daniels (R-Elmhurst)
    Illinois State Senator Todd Sieben, 37th Leg. District (R-Geneseo)
    Illinois State Representative Dan Rutherford, 87th Rep. District (R-Pontiac)
    Illinois State Representative Edgar Lopez, 4th Rep. District (D-Chicago)

    State Officials

    Robert H. Newtson, chief of staff, governor's office
    Dave Urbanek, press secretary, governor's office
    Pam McDonough, director, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs
    Joe Hannon, managing director, DCCA International Business Division
    Michael Rosenfeld, general counsel, DCCA
    Margo Theodore, foreign affairs specialist, DCCA
    Jose Munoz, Hispanic liaison, governor's office
    Charles F. Frame, security detail
    Jose Marrero, security detail
    Matt Ferguson, Illinois Information Service photographer
    Delia Perez, translator

    Agriculture Delegation

    Joe Hampton, director, Department of Agriculture
    William Sand, representative, John Deere Foundation
    Allen Andreas, CEO, Archer Daniels Midland Corporation
    Richard P. Reising, vice president, Archer Daniels Midland Corporation
    David Chicoine, dean, University of Illinois College of Agriculture
    Dan Martin, director, Ecosystems, Conservation & Policy, MacArthur Foundation
    Orion Samuelson, WGN-AM Radio

    Educational and Cultural Delegation

    Shirley Madigan, chairwoman, Illinois Arts Council
    Bishop Joseph Perry, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago
    Bob Collins, WGN-AM Radio
    Christine Collins, WGN-AM Radio
    Audrey Anne Clarke, WGN-AM Radio
    Philip Reid, WGN-AM Radio
    Charles Serrano, president, Legislative Strategies, Inc.
    Zale Glauberman, representative, American Jewish Community
    Lourdes Monteagudo, board member, Chicago Board of Education
    Maritza Marrero, vice chancellor of Human Resources, City Colleges of Chicago
    Ana Cecilia Valasco, Hispanic and Native American recruiter, Illinois State University
    Anne D. Davis, president, Illinois Education Association

    Medical Delegation

    Dr. John Lumpkin, director, Department of Public Health
    Jorge Guerra, vice-president, Baxter International Regional Business Practice Committee
    Dr. Lisa Thornton, director of pediatrics, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Chicago
    Dr. Carl Getto, dean, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
    Dr. Roberto Diaz, physician, Sacred Heart Hospital, Chicago
    Pete Peters, specialist, long-term health care
    John Glennon, president, Health Alliances
    Arecelia Vila, vice president of public affairs, Schering-Plough

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