US, Cuba push to finalize talks on re-establishing embassies
BY BRADLEY KLAPPER
American and Cuban officials were trying Thursday to complete talks to
re-establish embassies in each other’s capitals after a half-century
interruption. Many differences appeared close to being resolved.
The top U.S. diplomat for Latin America, Roberta Jacobson, was meeting
with her Cuban counterpart, Josefina Vidal, at the State Department,
though officials suggested a breakthrough was unlikely.
The talks come as two of the biggest obstacles to the restoration of
U.S.-Cuban diplomatic relations are being removed.
Cuba will come off the U.S. state sponsor of terrorism list on May 29.
Also, the U.S. says Cuba’s Interests Section in Washington has
established a relationship with a U.S.-based bank, meaning it won’t have
to operate on cash anymore.
Other issues remain. The U.S. is still seeking to ensure its diplomats
can travel throughout Cuba and meet with dissidents without restrictions.
In a symbolic show of closer U.S.-Cuban ties, 10 Cuban journalists
attended Thursday’s White House briefing and press secretary Josh
Earnest offered the final question to one of the reporters. A woman who
identified her news organization as Cuban National Television took up
Cuban President Raul Castro recently complained about U.S. programs for
training Cuban journalists, calling them an “illegal” infringement on
Cuba’s sovereignty. The State Department says it maintains such
democracy programs in “restrictive environments” around the world.
Source: US, Cuba push to finalize talks on re-establishing embassies |
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