Cuban Delegation on Round Two of Talks with the USA

By Circles Robinson

Josefina Vidal, jefa de la Delegación cubana. Foto-Ismael Francisco-Cubadebate
Cuba’s top negotiator Josefina Vidal expressed satisfaction with the talks held Friday in Washington. Photo: Ismael Francisco/cubadebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES – The process of restoring diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States moved forward on Friday with the second round of talks towards the goal of opening embassies in the respective capitals in the not too distant future.

Once again the delegations were both headed by the same female diplomats who met in Havana a month earlier: the top Cuban negotiator was Josefina Vidal chief of the North American desk of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, and for the USA, Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

While many other issues will be on the table in future talks (extradition treaty, Cuban Adjustment Act, the US embargo, the Guantanamo Naval Base, human rights, property expropriations, etc.) there seems to be agreement that the official restoring of relations and the opening of embassies is the first order of business. This with an eye to making considerable progress before the Summit of the Americas on April 10-11 in Panama, when presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama will be on the same venue.

Parralel to that, Cuba continues to press that it be taken off the US list of countries sponsoring terrorism and the US State Department says it is reviewing the designation to make a recommendation to Congress.

The following is the press release issued by the Cuban Delegation following the talks on Friday.

 

The talks took place at the US State Department in Washington.  Foto: Ismael Francisco/cubadebate.cu
The talks took place at the US State Department in Washington. Foto: Ismael Francisco/cubadebate.cu

Press release issued by the Cuban delegation to the round of talks on the resumption of diplomatic relations with the United States. Washington, February 27, 2015.

On February 27, 2015, a new round of talks was held between the delegations of Cuba and the United States on the process of formalization of the resumption of diplomatic relations and the opening of embassies, which was announced by Presidents Raúl Castro Ruz and Barack Obama, on December 17, 2014.

The Cuban delegation was headed by Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, Director General of the US Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and the US delegation was headed by Roberta S. Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. The meeting took place in a professional, respectful and constructive environment.

The Cuban representatives reiterated the importance of solving a series of issues, which will allow for the creation of the appropriate context to resume diplomatic relations and open embassies in both capitals, in particular, Cuba’s removal from the list of “States sponsor of international terrorism” and the provision of financial services to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington which, for more than one year, has been unable to find a bank willing to handle its financial transactions due to the blockade laws and Cuba’s designation as a country that sponsors international terrorism.

Likewise, the Cuban delegation insisted on the need to ensure compliance with the principles of International Law and the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, which should be the basis of our future diplomatic relations and the work of our respective embassies. Special emphasis was made on the observance of the norms governing the functions of diplomatic missions, the behavior of diplomatic staff, compliance with national laws and non-interference in the internal affairs of States.

Besides, both delegations worked through the details about the visits and bilateral technical meetings to take place in the next few weeks on issues such as trafficking in persons, civil aviation, telecommunications, human rights, marine protected areas, prevention of migration fraud and changes in the regulations modifying the implementation of the blockade.

During the exchange, the Cuban delegation ratified its willingness to continue the dialogue and make progress in the relations between Cuba and the United States based on respect, sovereign equality and reciprocity.

 

3 thoughts on “Cuban Delegation on Round Two of Talks with the USA

  • Mr Goodrich,
    With respect, the absolute raw truth is that America is humanity’s best bet to achieve a better world. She has her flaws, which are well documented, however, there is also no other country on earth with a more open and progressive society – period. No other country has generated as much wealth, legal precedents, great athletes, actors, artists, intellects or humanistic benefits that help the average person have a better life. The truth is self-evident.

    As far as politics and diplomacy go, it’s a different universe than most of us little people live in, where the sins are not mentioned and all players are considered clean, truthful or not.
    I’ve travelled across the United States several times, and yes, I’ve seen heartbreaking scenes – such as children who need eye operations and their parents with a pickle jar for donations (full, by the way) – but I’ve also seen a country where anything is possible and people judge you mostly by the type of person you are and by what you’ve done vs. the B.S. the human race has used to screw each other since the dawn of time.
    Imperialists. Really? Let’s see – Vietnam? – not really: an ideological war between a catholic president and communist China and Russia. Cuba? Supporting a kleptocracy – offensive but pretty minor on an international scale compared to say France in Algeria or Russia in Georgia, Chechnya, Hungary or Afghanistan, to name just a few. Asia – nuked Japan to end an incredibly brutal war of attrition which would’ve resulted in tens of millions of deaths – and most gained possessions are now democracies or given options, usually choosing to be US-affiliated (Guam, Marshall Islands etc.).
    OK, now let’s look at the other options: Russia: vicious oligarch torture state and which you’d have to love Russian novels to appreciate – and which spreads 50 types of bullshit about everything they do – and has happily executed every opponent they can internally or abroad (remember Trotsky, Litvinenko etc.?) for almost 100 years (happy anniversary!).
    China, well, we don’t know much about them because when they take over places like Tibet, they kill all the witnesses. A well-placed friend in the mining biz tells me that they don’t even bother reporting safety issues unless more than five people are killed, if then. Remember Mao’s adage that they can easily absorb several hundred million casualties? They probably execute or lose more people on an average day than the rest of the world combined – is that your idea of a role model? At least Russia admitted that Stalin was an asshole.
    We’re coming to a crossroads in history, my friend, so pick a road, but choose wisely, because make no mistake, the other guys are a horrible choice and if the US goes under, humanity is finished for at least a few centuries, as with Rome.
    And in case you think I’m a crypto-fascist of some kind, I’m not. Like Orwell, I’m on the side of the system that gives the average person the best quality of life, as are most Cubans I believe. Wasn’t that what the revolution was about?
    – CF

  • …” During the exchange , the Cuban delegation ratified its willingness to continue the dialogue and make progress in the relations between Cuba and the United States based on respect, sovereign equality and reciprocity .”
    In more than 70 ( SEVENTY) cases in world history the U.S. has intervened and violated the sovereignty of other nations .
    You can read about 54 of them that took place between 1945 and 1995 in “Killing Hope” or by visiting the eponymous website.
    It is more than clear, based on the history that goes right up to today, that in these negotiations Cuba would be asking for something that is completely alien to the imperial government of the United States. –
    The statement does nothing more than stress the need for mutual respect for sovereignty because the GOUSA has a history of not respecting sovereignty .
    Apologists for U.S. imperial policy will say that “the U.S. is not perfect ” and that is far as they are willing to go because to admit to 70 interventions in far less than a century is to admit that the U.S. is imperial a and has and has always been a force for evil in the world

  • No rash decisions please! Progress will be made , however it will take time!

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