Tags: Barack Obama | Castro-Cuba | US | reopen | embassy | Havana | Cuba

Cuban Official: US May Reopen Havana Embassy Soon

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 10:08 PM

Declaring no "obstacles" in the way, a Cuban official suggests that the reopening of a U.S. embassy in Havana could be announced soon.

"This could [be] the last round [of negotiations], or we could keep talking," Gustavo Machín, deputy director of USA affairs at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, said in Havana on Monday, CNN reports.

"We don't see obstacles, just questions to resolve and discuss together," he said.

The potential breakthrough comes after more than five months of talks to re-establish relations between the United States and Cuba and reopen embassies in each of the respective capitals.

Machín said the expected removal later this month of Cuba from the State Department's list of countries that support terrorism has helped create optimism that talks in Washington on Thursday could seal the deal, CNN reports.

Still unresolved are the size and scope of the future embassies.

Cuba and the United State broke off relations in 1961, but in 1977 agreed to open interests sections that would allow diplomatic contact without the United States recognizing Cuba's Communist-run government, CNN notes.

The United States has said it will continue engaging with the island's civil society and push the Cuban government to improve its record on human rights, CNN reports.

But re-establishing diplomatic relations will start the longer-term effort of normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba, CNN reports, noting that those talks could take years to resolve issues including the U.S. trade embargo, the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, U.S. fugitives that have found refuge in Cuba, and Cuba's single-party political system.

"It's a longer, more complicated process of discussing of issues of importance to both countries," Machín said, CNN reports.

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Declaring no "obstacles" in the way, a Cuban official suggests that the reopening of a U.S. embassy in Havana could be announced soon.
US, reopen, embassy, Havana, Cuba, normalize, relations
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2015-08-18
Monday, 18 May 2015 10:08 PM
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