HAVANA TIMES — Representatives of the US government handed Cuba a “specific proposal” for resuming direct mail service after half a century of interruption, informed the US Interests Section in Havana on Tuesday.
Talks to revive direct mail delivery between the neighboring countries had resumed Monday in the Cuban captial after the first meeting held in mid-June in Washington, reported dpa news.
“The United States gave the Cuban government a specific proposal for the direct transport of mail,” explained the Interests Section. “At the meeting (Monday) September 16, the Cuban delegation promised to forward a written response to the US proposal, at the earliest possible date.”
On Monday, the Cuban delegation had placed an “emphasis” on the issue of allowing mail transport through normal transportation, currently restricted by the trade and economic embargo that the US maintains on Cuba for over a half century.
“This is a central question to be addressed to restore direct mail,” said the Cuban delegation at the talks.
In a statement today, the United States reiterated that both sides “made progress” in the current talks.
Direct mail service between Cuba and the United States broke off a half century ago. Postal deliveries were discontinued in 1963, a few years after the triumph of Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution. Nevertheless, there is currently a mail service via third countries, with restrictions on large packages.
In 2009, the two countries held brief conversations to try to resume the postal service, among other issues. However such efforts were put on hold by Washington after the arrest of US agent Alan Gross on the island in December 2009.
Working for a USAID funded “democracy” program, Gross was arrested while trying to enter Cuba with sophisticated communications equipment not allowed on the island and sentenced in 2011 to 15 years in prison for crimes against the “independence” and ” territorial integrity” in Cuba.