Seismic is not too strong of word to describe the recent diplomatic shift between the United States and the island nation 90 miles off the Florida coast.

Jim Abourezk who served in both houses of Congress from the State of South Dakota and who once visited Cuba as a U.S. Senator is pleased that the two nations have agreed to build a relationship.

When reflecting on the tempestuous past, Abourezk is taken aback by how nearly war between the two nations came to be. “Look how many times how many times we almost went to war.  When they invited the Russians in to bring nuclear missile silos over, that was too close for comfort.”

Abourezk is among those who can identify agriculture as one of the places where a stronger relationship will immediately benefit South Dakota.  “I think we will sell a lot of corn, wheat, cattle and sheep and it will be good for our farm economy in this country.”

Poverty and food shortages have been a way of life in Cuba according to Abourezk.  However as a visitor he fondly recalls a musical spirit among the Cuban people.