Bozeman is soon to play host to the first Cuban diplomat to the - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Bozeman is soon to play host to the first Cuban diplomat to the US in more than six decades

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BOZEMAN -

At face value Montana and Cuba may not seem to have a lot in common, but the 25 hundred miles and decades of frozen relations between our home and the Caribbean communist nation are about to be bridged.

Bozeman is soon to play host to the first Cuban diplomat to the US in more than six decades. Why his sites are set on Montana might surprise you?.

It’s MSU’s school of agriculture that is attracting a person crucial in building a new relationship between Cuba and the United States. This relationship could represent big trade opportunities for Montana.

It's two of Montana’s top industries that are attracting Miguel Fraga to come to big sky country. Those industries are tourism and agriculture and the possibilities of trade.

Hans Dierenfeldt, an MSU grad who recently made a trip to Cuba, says it's a big step for both Montana and the island nation, which was under a trade and travel embargo for more than 50 years.

"We’re very extremely excited about this step, because it opens up the door for ground relations between Montanans and the Cuban people. In the past it has been very difficult to talk about the normalizations but only through discussion can we make progress," said Hans Dierenfeldt, MSU student.

The icy relations between the US and Cuba significantly warmed during the Obama administration. Fraga himself is the first Cuban diplomat to the US since 1959.

MSU professor Jan Strout, who played a big role in arranging Fraga's visit, says both nations have a lot to learn.

"We also have an incredible opportunity to share knowledge and I think that is the opportunity of having a diversity with a variety with incredible faculty and staff on both parts of the country,” said Jan Strout, Gallatin Valley Friends of Cuba.

Along with a lecture at MSU Ambassador Fraga will be visiting with Governor Bullock, Mayor Taylor,  MSU classes, as well as visiting Yellowstone National Park.

Fraga will present Cuba's vision, progress toward and importance for the normalization of relations with the United States after 55 years. Fraga's lecture is February 21st at 6 p.m. in the strand union building. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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