New talks have taken place to help to continue to build new ties between Cuba and America following decades of disputes and embargoes.
The assistant US secretary of State, Roberta Jacobsen, met in Havana with her counterpart in Cuba, Josefina Vidal, the Cuban foreign ministry’s chief on US affairs to discuss the future between the two countries and how to move forward with building a working relationship between the two nations.
While there has been a marked improvement in the relationship between Cuba and America, the two have seen disagreements even recently, including marked differences in relation to Venezuela but it is hoped that the talks will be able to avoid confrontation over this delicate issue.
According to a report by Reuters, Jacobson and Vidal led their respective delegations with great fanfare in Havana in January and in Washington in February, but this session will take place with smaller teams and, so far at least, a media blackout regarding what is going on between the two in the talks.
It has been decades since such talks have taken place with the two countries coming to loggerheads leading to the severing of all diplomatic ties by America with Cuba back in 1961. The long Cold War that followed did nothing to improve the situation which has remained frosty up until only this year, which makes these talks particularly historic in their meaning.
It was President Barack Obama who reversed the U.S. policy of isolating Cuba and led to the entering of 18 months of secret talks that led to a joint announcement with Cuban President Raul Castro on December 17 to let the world know that the two adversaries would seek to restore diplomatic ties, as well as a release of prisoners by both sides.
President Obama told Reuters that he hoped the United States would open an embassy in Cuba before a Western Hemisphere summit in Panama set for April 10-11, when Obama and Castro could have their first face-to-face meeting since shaking hands at Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December 2013.
While the plans ae all being put in place to ease the relationship between Cuba and America for the future there are still a few stumbling blocks that need to be overcome before things can move forward.
Cuba wants to be removed from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism and also is looking to find a bank willing to handle transactions for its diplomatic posts in the United States.