UF expert can speak on the economics of Cuba

Published: December 17 2014


As President Barack Obama announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease economic restrictions on the nation, the University of Florida has an expert on Cuba’s economy available to talk to the media.

William A. Messina Jr. is an agricultural economist with the food and resource economics department in UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. His extension, research and teaching activities focus on market research and agricultural trade and development issues with specific emphasis on U.S.-Caribbean/Latin American trade patterns and policies of particular relevance to Florida agriculture.

Messina is the founding co-director of the department’s comprehensive research initiative to provide objective and current data, information and analysis on the agricultural and fisheries sectors in Cuba. Begun in 1992, this research continues to be conducted in collaboration with a team of researchers at the University of Havana, Cuba.

As part of this research effort, Messina has published widely on the topic and made presentations on Cuba’s agricultural sector at professional conferences and agricultural industry meetings throughout the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

He also has presented testimony on Cuba’s agricultural sector to U.S. House and Senate Congressional committees and the U.S. International Trade Commission, and briefings to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State Department.  

Contact Messina at wamess@ufl.edu or at 352-294-7656.