In Turnaround, Cuba Agrees to Talks With U.S.
31 May 09 | WaPo
Cuba has agreed to open talks with the United States on issues ranging from immigration to anti-narcotics cooperation and direct mail service, a senior State Department official said today, in a sign that the island’s communist government is warming to President Obama’s call for a new relationship after decades of tension.
The breakthrough came shortly before Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton left on a trip to Latin America, where she is expected to face pressure to make further gestures to Cuba, including allowing it into the Organization of American States.
A senior State Department official, briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, called the Cuban moves “a very positive development” and added: “It’s our hope this will be understood in the region in a positive way.”
In an initial bid to launch a new relationship with Cuba, President Obama last month scrapped restrictions on Cuban Americans traveling to the island and sending money there. But he has said the United States will not lift its economic embargo until the government of Raul Castro improves its human-rights record and makes democratic reforms. >>>
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