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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo took his reelection campaign to the Caribbean on Friday with stops in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic — two places with significant ties to New York.

Cuomo met with Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla and pledged to boost business ties between New York and the U.S. territory. He also promised to bring more trade missions to the island to bolster the territory’s struggling economy.

Citing dropping unemployment and record levels of private sector employment in New York, Cuomo urged Puerto Ricans to see the government reforms through to better times.

“The good news is, yes, it is difficult when you are going through it, but it will bear fruit,” Cuomo said.

Garcia urged Latinos to vote for Democrats if they want to see approval of the DREAM Act.

Cuomo met earlier Friday with Dominican President Danilo Medina and said he wants to encourage a closer relationship and will return on a trade mission if he wins re-election. “I always felt a special connection with the Dominican Republic,” he said.

Asked why he was taking the trip so close to the Nov. 4 election, Cuomo said he wanted to show Dominicans in New York his “respect for their community and their origins.”

More than a million New Yorkers are of Puerto Rican or Dominican heritage.