President of Southeast Missouri State University, Dr. Carlos Vargas, will participate the 29th through June 1 in a delegation of Missourians, led by Gov. Jay Nixon, representing agriculture, business, education and government on a trade mission to Cuba. With the recent progress toward normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba, the trade mission will focus on growing Missouri exports to the island nation of 11 million, especially agricultural products. Vargas says he plans to visit with officials to pursue higher education partnerships in Cuba for collaboration on potential academic and research projects. As part of the focus on Missouri exports, the Missouri delegation will visit the new deep-water port at Mariel, Cuba, which has expanded capacity to receive large cargo ships. Missouri products, particularly grain, often are transported down the Mississippi River by barge to the Gulf of Mexico and then to overseas markets by sea-going cargo ships.