Tags: cuba | obama | talks

Obama Pushing 'Informal' Talks With Cuba

Sunday, 26 Apr 2009 10:40 PM

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

U.S. President Barack Obama's administration is hoping to relaunch communication channels with Cuba after 50 years of adversarial relations, U.S. media reported.

"Informal meetings" were being planned between the US State Department and Cuban diplomats in the United States "to determine whether the two governments could open formal talks on a variety of issues," The New York Times said.

The wide-ranging talks would cover topics such as drug trafficking and migration. More cultural and academic exchanges were also being considered, the Times said, citing White House and State Department officials who declined to be named.

The talks would serve to "test the waters" to determine whether the United States and Cuba could engage in a "serious, civil, open relationship," a senior administration official said.

Washington was "ready to talk about a series of issues," the official said, cautioning that "this thing with Cuba is going to take a lot of time, and it may not work."

Obama has lifted travel and money transfer restrictions on Cuban-Americans with relatives in Cuba.

But the US president has come under pressure from Latin American leaders and some of his fellow Democrats to put an end to the 47-year-old economic embargo that Obama said would stay in place until Cuba gave more freedoms to its people.

A State Department official told the Times that growing pressure for a new US policy toward Cuba was a "steamroller," and that the administration was "trying to drive it, rather than get run over by it."

The official said any outreach to Cuba would be made cautiously and does not indicate the United States would ignore Havana's bleak human rights record.

Another State Department official said the United States would not wait for Havana to first take some of the steps sought by the Obama administration.

"I don't think we want to paint a big red line in the sand to preclude any conversations," the official said. "We need to begin having conversations."

Copyright AFP 2008, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Russia Warns US against Further Sanctions as Ukraine Deal Stalls

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 20:23 PM

Russia said its military is massed on Ukraine's doorstep and warned against further US sanctions as a deal struck with W . . .

Sen. Corker: Time to Consider Sending Weapons to Ukraine

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 19:31 PM

It is time for the United States to provide lethal weapons for Ukraine's military, Sen. Bob Corker said Friday, and make . . .

Pope's Good Friday Message: 'Remember All the Abandoned People'

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 18:05 PM

The plight of immigrants, the poor, the sick, the elderly, unemployed and prisoners dominated Pope Francis' Good Friday  . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved