Rubio to meet for 1st time with Tampa Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber's CEO wrote, Robert Rohrlack Jr. wrote to Rubio last February:

"I sincerely hope that you will withdraw (the amendment) in order to more accurately reflect the resolve of the entire state."

It's no surprise that Rubio would cop such a stance, since he's a noted hawk when it comes to having any type of contact with the Raoul Castro led Cuban government.

A local business official in Tampa tells CL that when Rubio was Speaker of the House in 2006-2008, he became upset with the Tampa Chamber when they began championing actions to try to get Tampa to begin making more contacts with the Cuban government.

The Chamber was run back then by Jose Valiente, who upon taking over controls of the organization back in 2005 said he wanted "at least an action plan" for businesses to be ready for opportunities when the U.S. embargo ultimately ends against the communist island.

"Who better to rebuild Cuba than chamber members from Tampa for construction of buildings and roads?" he said in December of 2005.

CL contacted both Jose Valiente and Senator Rubio's Washington office for comment. If and when they return our call, we will update this post.

  • Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio will meet with members of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

Such an announcement would generally be no big deal, but not when it comes to Rubio and this particular chamber, who have been at odds in the past.

Earlier this year, the Chamber called on the Florida GOP Senator to withdraw an amendment that he had sponsored to the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, which would have prevented Tampa from conducting direct flights to Cuba.

The amendment failed, and flights from TIA to Havana began last month.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]