Congresswoman Kathy Castor pushes for embargo with Cuba to be lifted

After a week of historic events and change in Cuba, one particular moment stands out in the mind of Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

Castor and a delegation of U.S. Congressional Representatives visited the home of Barbara Fernandez in Havana. Fernandez is a young Cuban wife and mother who now earns a living sewing baby clothes.

Congresswoman Kathy Castor
Congresswoman Kathy Castor

“She has really worked to develop this small business and has hired employees. This was unheard of in Cuba a few years ago,” Castor said.

Fernandez obtained three sewing machines and now uses them to make the clothes. “Barbara is remarkable She reminds me of Sara Blakely who founded Spanx, who is from Clearwater. She has really worked to develop this small business,” Castor said.

Just a few years ago Fernandez was working in a government job, putting medicine bottles into cardboard boxes. Now she is supporting her family with her new career and income.

Castor believes pushing change in U.S. and Cuban relations will help many regular citizens like Barbara Fernandez. “I return from Cuba now, more committed than ever to help her do that by lifting the embargo,” she said.

READ MORE OF JEFF’S CUBA COVERAGE: provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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