US-Cuba Negotiations Resume May 21 in Washington

Photo: Raquel Perez Diaz

HAVANA TIMES — The governments of Cuba and the United States will hold a new round of negotiations on the planned resumption of diplomatic ties on May 21, the Cuban Foreign Ministry and the US State Department both announced on Thursday.

The new round of talks “on the process of restoring diplomatic relations and the opening of embassies” will take place in Washington, reported dpa news.

It will be the fourth bilateral session between the high-level representatives of the Obama and Castro governments since the two countries announced in mid-December a historic agreement to resume diplomatic ties, broken off unilaterally by the US more than a half century ago.

The governments of Cuba and the United States opened the talks in late January in Havana negotiations to reopen embassies in their respective capitals. A month later they held another round of talks in Washington, followed by a meeting held in greater secrecy in Havana in mid-March.

Cuban President Raul Castro said earlier this week that the two countries could “appoint ambassadors” soon after May 29, when Cuba is formally removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

President Obama announced in mid-April that his administration will take Cuba off the “black list” where it has remained since 1982. The measure takes effect 45 days after announced to the US Congress.

The US State Department also issued a statement on Thursday notifying the press that:

“On May 21, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson will host a delegation from the Cuban government led by Josefina Vidal, Director General of the U.S. Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Assistant Secretary Jacobson and Director General Vidal will continue discussions on re-establishing diplomatic relations and re-opening embassies. A U.S. Embassy in Havana will allow the United States to more effectively promote our interests and values, and increase engagement with the Cuban people.”

38 thoughts on “US-Cuba Negotiations Resume May 21 in Washington

  • Why not read the posting:
    My son was murdered in Camaguey, Cuba ?

  • In Cuba, the power will remain in the hands of the Castro clan. Raul’s son Alejandro Castro Espín is a colonel in the Ministry of the Interior, a power centre of the dictatorship. Raul’s son-in-law, General Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas, is the director of GAESA, the largest corporation in Cuba and as such controls about 70% of the island economy.

    These two will be the true power in Cuba, post-Raul. They may accept a passive puppet as president, perhaps Diaz-Canal who has no significant power base of his own.

    As for Venezuela, the US Justice Department is currently preparing an indictment against several leading Venezuelan politicians, including Diosdado Cabello for drug trafficking, gun running and money laundering. This activity has been a $27 billion per year business, and a lot of powerful people have been in on it.

  • I am the same height, weight, build and skin complexion as Teofilo Stevenson.

  • I agree that Maduro may cancel elections, he has already eroded many of the necessary components of democracy. But, he is sitting on a powder keg – and may yet find that not all revolutions are communist/socialist.

  • To quote your response to Informed Consent above:
    “I guess you reading skills is low.”
    You actually have students?
    You have absolutely no basis for your comment about Posada Carrile and the Miami thugs. God help those students who are subjected to your English and your lunatic insults. With people of your calibre buried in the backwood schools of America there will be no shortage of illiterate labour.

  • How is it that you look Cuba? Like William Levy? like the castros? Alberto Juantorena? Tony Avila?

  • Wikipedia, be serious, I deduct points when my students use Wikipedia as a serious source…..Read “Historians have not fully agreed on the dates, but 1947-1991 is common” While there is a blockade on Cuba, cold war is alive and well, especially in Miami…….no wonder you guys support Posada Carrile and the Miami thugs!

  • I guess you reading skills is low?

  • Smart money says Maduro declares a national emergency and cancels elections. After all, it was Fidel who lambasted Ortega in Nicaragua when he said “”Why hold an election that you might lose? ”

  • The US’s charity extends to the billions in remittances provided by Cuban Americans to family in Cuba. It must stick in Fidel’s craw that this money provides over 20% of Cuban revenue and has created a new middle class on Cuba. Hey, a few American dollars makes you a king on Cuba!

  • My neighbor is an American Indian. He’s pure Seminole and a practicing architect. He’s not a fan of living n the many reservations although his grandmother begs hm to move there. He does however enjoy his monthly stipend from the gambling profits of there several Casinos in Florida. together the Seminoles, Mikkasucci and other interest have successfully lobbied to keep out other forms of gambling from the state of Florida. They make billions on the state gambling conserions. If that’s “represion” sign me up now!!

  • ….didn’t you just finish saying the Cold War was over? Please make up your mind

  • Well I am interested in your choice. Bruno is even smaller than Raul, whereas Diaz-Canel is much taller and Marino Murillo has unmatched girth. I think that Bruno is a talk guy and doesn’t have the testosterone to use an iron fist like Raul.
    My own view is that they will act as a Trioka initially, but as 80% of the economy is controlled by Raul’s son-in-law they may be challenged for power.
    No chance of change until 2018, when Raul steps down as President (he hasn’t said that he will step down as boss of the military) and when Nicholas Maduro has to face a national election in Venezuela – if as I anticipate he is defeated then Cuba will no longer receive cheap energy. These two factors combined will create some economic panic for the Troika and opportunity for the Raul Castro ménage.

  • You are misusing the term “the Cold War”. To quote Wikipedia:
    “Cold War – a state of military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc and powers in the Eastern Bloc. Historians have not fully agreed on the dates, but 1947-1991 is common”.
    The position between the US and Cuba is entirely different from the position in Europe in the years given by Wikipedia.
    It was only the implosion of the Communist system in Russia which brought the Cold War to an end and liberated the countries of Eastern Europe.
    In Cuba there is a stand-off between the US and a tin pot dictator. If you care to read the details of the resolution passed by the US Congress, you will find specific mention of the Castros as the target of the embargo (note it is an embargo, not a blockade).
    Were as I suggested, your visits to clubs in Havana?

  • While the blockade of Cuba persists, the cold war endures….did I really have to explain this? No I went to place with my Cuban friends, not tourist areas…

  • Native Americans are not forced to live on reservations. They chose to live there, where they can practice their tradition way of life. They can leave anytime they like.

    “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” is an interesting and valuable book, but it is not an unbiased history. There’s a lot more to the history of the relations between the US government and native North Americans. I know this because my great grandmother was Sioux.

    By the way, how did the native Cubans, the Taíno, fare? Native Americans are better off today than the native Cubans ever were.

  • Please explain what the cold war between the USSR and the free Western Allies has to do with Cuba?
    Obviously if you went to many clubs you were in an area frequented by tourists – probably Havana. In general Cubans cannot afford to visit clubs and usually only do so as the guests of tourists.
    In our town which has a substantial population and where there are no tourists, there are no clubs and no hotels. I have the good fortune to be accepted as a member of the community and dancing does take place in the street at festivals and in homes when they have a fiesta.

  • I’ll pick Bruno Rodriguez out of the three you mentioned. I anticipate that transition to be very, very soon! Perhaps even by the end of this year.

  • Any respect that the Castros may have with some of the peoples of the world – Robert Mugabe, Kim Jong Un, Vladamir Putin, Nicholas Maduro, Christina Fernadez, et al has been earned on the backs of the Cuban people. The Castro family regime kept on spending money on their propaganda programs during the “special period” when Cubans were trying to find enough to eat because the rations were reduced. A person who is very dear to me was able to sustain her family by carrying illicit rum from her then place of work to her family almost 100 km away and taking eggs from their home upon return and selling each at a narrow profit. This entailed travelling by Cuban transport for 3-4 hours each way – every weekend. Yet, you have the gall to describe the Castros as “wonderful people”. Take off those rose tinted spectacles and have a hard look Mr. Clarke.

  • I just came from Cuba and went to many clubs wehre Cubans of al color and races where dancing together…the cold war has ended, you can stop the propaganda now…the revolution won, you guys lost.

  • The US economy is no longer in recession. Sustained by their Venezuelan wetnurse and the pimping of medical services, the Castros hobbled together an economic system that further depends on the remittances from the same “gusano” exile community that the Castros spent 40 years excoriating. The US is the most charitable nation in the world and despite the ebb and flow of US popularity, my passport still affords me entry to almost every country in the world without a visa. For the “respect” that you claim the Castros command, the world still makes it pretty tough for the Cuban people to travel.

  • As an African American in the US, I don’t need to recount the abuses of other racial or political groups to understand your point that the US has many faults. Is that the best excuse you can make for the tyranny of the Castro dictatorship? That the US is not perfect either? Here’s the difference between the problems we continue to face in the US and the situation caused by the Castros: Americans have the means, through the free press and through our individual liberties to change our system and expose wrongdoers. Cubans have no recourse to redress grievances. The Castros have eliminated free speech and freedom of assembly. This is HAVANA TIMES. Your gripes about the US don’t belong on this blog.

  • Moses, You have the heart, the gall the nerve to talk about socialist dictatorship when your country has supported the worst of the worst dictatorships in the world? Come on Moses! You are a real boxer, you keep bobbing and weaving the questions. Answer me straight, “Has your country supported the worse dictators in the world? Do your country in the 21st century still have the Native Indians living on Reservations? Could you tell us if those original inhabitants are treated correctly by America which is all over the globe speaking about Human Rights? I have just read the Book, “Bury my heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown, Fall River Press, New York. REad the Book Moses and then come back and engage me in conversation. You will hang your head in shame if your shame box is not smashed to smitherreens. A very sordid past. A past which is still a part of the present, for a leopard never changes its spots!!!

  • Why not speak about the economic reality of the United States where there is a recession from since 2008? People are losing their homes, their jobs, their sanity. Despite the 50 year old embargo, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Cubans were able to survive. Despite all these set backs the Cubans kept educating students from around the world free of cost. Wonderful people who will always be respected around the world. You will never, you could never and you would never command the respect of the peoples of the world the way the Castros have commanded that respect.

  • Why don’t the regime supporters who constantly extol the virtues of Cubas racial equality see this?

  • Because I look Cuban, when I have attended these kinds of gatherings I can almost hear the whisper circle the room “It’s okay, he’s a Yuma “. Then when I speak, everyone exhales and just the opposite reaction takes place. I become akin to a party favor. Everyone wants to claim to know me. Interesting circumstances.

  • ….or he’s been there a very, very long time. Wink, wink.

  • Actually when I was last in Cuba I attended a party on La Rampa, which cuts across the Vedado neighborhood (you would think it was somewhere in Europe or the US) it was held in a beautiful old building that was “dressed up” for the occasion. It was a pay at the door sort of thing and everyone present was very well dressed ( it was stocked with booze…. I have no idea how they got all the liquor or lighting, which looked professional) but absent were any black or dark skin mulatos. I spoke to my friend about this and he just shrugged his shoulders and said, they know not to come.

  • Have you ever been to Cuba. Black Cubans face their own version of racism every day. Given income tax rates of over 95%, education and public health services are far from free. I do agree that Cuban streets are relatively safe. All windows are still barred and domestic violence is very high. Just the same, Cubans live in a police state. The sacrifice of personal liberty is too high a price for safe midnight strolls.

  • Actually, the Castros #1 source of income to the Castro coffers is pimping medical services to mostly third world countries. #2 is remittances but because it goes directly to the people, the #3 source, tourism, is of greater use to the dictatorship.

  • By the way you write, I guess you have never been in Cuba more than a week

  • You obviously know naught about racism in Cuba as practised by the State Police. Please explain why no one immigrates to Cuba and why people risk their lives to leave Cuba?
    All people in Canada have free education available and free medical care similarly in the EEC.
    But in addition those 28 countries have freedom of speech, freedom of the media, freedom to support whatever political party they choose. You may not value freedom, but those Cubans who risk their lives to gain it, know its true value.

  • Yet they risk there lives, even today, to flee the island in search of a better life in the land of la Yuma.. And that speaks much more eloquently than anything you or I could ever write on these pages.

  • All Cubans have free medical care. All Cubans have free education availability. In Cuba anyone can go for a walk after dark anywhere in the country and not have to worry of someone assaulting you. In Cuba Afro folks are everywhere as equally treated as the general population. A better life outside Cuba? I think not. Circling the drain? Heads up gringos for you have been circling the racist drain for a long while.

  • Cuba has had more than 20 years to prepare this time. They have learned the lesson that socialism happy talk needs a funding source. You can’t redistribute what you don’t have. Equality is out in Cuba these days. Making income to support the state is in. Their two key sources of income, family remittances and tourism are booming.

  • I agree that the Castro brothers days are numbered – I anticipate a struggle between the political front of Diaz-Canel, Marino Murillo and Bruno Rodriguez and Raul Castro’s family with potentially military support.
    You coined a lovely phrase about the Cuban economy, it is a very accurate description.
    As for Holquinero suggesting that Cuban (communist) party members will vye for the position of Ambassador to the US, they would be well advised to study what happened to Ricardo Alarcon.

  • If I were a betting man – and I am not – I would bet that there will many Cuban party members vying for the position of being the Cuban Ambassador to the United States. The position would surely allow the candidate to have a better life outside of Cuba. Perhaps, Raul would like the job. Need I write more? (BTW: Moses, I thoroughly enjoy your comments and your imagery, “The Cuban economy is circling the drain like never before.”)

  • The Cuban economy is circling the drain like never before. Although conditions in Cuba were far worse after the collapse of their Soviet wetnurse, Cuban society was closed off from the world and better prepared to close ranks to weather the coming economic storm. Today’s Cuba is less willing to accept shortages of basic goods, low salaries and rising prices. President Obama’s poorly advised efforts at rapprochement with Cuba come at a time when the economic lifeline the US is extending to the Castros will not come soon enough to save the failed Castro-style socialist dictatorship. Politically and biologically, the Castros days are numbered.

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