Miami-Dade's Cuban-born mayor praised President Donald Trump's Cuba policy on Friday.
"This new policy will serve to help the people of Cuba grow their private sector, a critical step along the path to a free Cuba," Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement.
A spokesman said Gimenez, who is traveling in Europe, has not spoken to Trump since before Inauguration Day, when the president-elect called Gimenez after Fidel Castro died to express "solidarity" with the people of Miami-Dade.
Miami-Dade's county-owned port and airport are at the center of commerce with Cuba, with Miami International Airport the leading jumping off point for Havana-bound flights and PortMiami a hub for the budding Cuban-cruise industry.
The full statement:
Although I am out of the country, I have been briefed on the changes to U.S. policy towards Cuba President Trump has signed. The United States is the land of hope and opportunity for the world. Our policies should reflect our values and empower people over regimes. Although Fidel Castro is no longer in power, his brother continues to lead one of the world's most cruel and brutal regimes. The Cuban military is an instrument of the state, and reducing its access to American dollars is a positive move that I strongly support.
This new policy will serve to help the people of Cuba grow their private sector, a critical step along the path to a free Cuba.
The United States should continue to prioritize the empowerment of repressed people everywhere. I look forward to the day when Cubans and other repressed people around the world will enjoy the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States. May God continue to bless the United States of America and the Cuban people.