New Chief of US Interests Section in Cuba

By Café Fuerte

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis.
Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis.

HAVANA TIMES — The United States government has appointed veteran diplomat corps  Jeffrey DeLaurentis head of the US Interests Section in Havana, a position he is to assume this summer.

According to a State Department communiqué issued on Wednesday, DeLaurentis is to replace John Caulfield, who has been head of the Interests Section in Cuba since 2011 and will be completing his assignment this coming July.

Caufield leaves his position in Havana following a period characterized by the issuing of greater number of visas for family visits and cultural trips between the two countries, the resumption of bilateral talks on issues of immigration, mail services and the environment, and the establishment of people-to-people exchanges by the Obama administration.

State Department spokeswoman Susan E. Bridenstine said DeLaurentis is an outstanding member of the US Foreign Service who has been working as a representative for special political matters at the UN since 2011.

Prior to his UN assignment, DeLaurentis served as Assistant Deputy Secretary at the State Department’s Bureau for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Experiences in Havana

DeLaurentis has previous Cuba-related experience, dating back to the pivotal decade of the 1990s.

His career at the State Department began in 1991, when he was appointed head of the Political and Economic Affairs Office of the US Interests Section in Havana. On that occasion, he was in Cuba until 1993.

In 1999, during the Clinton administration, he returned to the diplomatic headquarters in Cuba as Head of Political and Economic Affairs, after serving as Executive Assistant to the then Deputy Secretary of State Pete Romero.

DeLaurentis’ long service record in Washington includes his work as advisor on issues of democracy and global affairs for the Secretary of State, Director of Inter-American Affairs for the National Security Council and official of the International Organizations Office.

He has also worked as US representative at the United Nations in Geneva and political advisor at the US Embassy in Bogota, Colombia.

DeLaurentis graduated from the Foreign Service School of the University of Georgetown and the Public and International Affairs School of the University of Columbia.