The State Department wants to give its Interests Section in Havana the title of embassy ASAP. Preferably it wants it done before the Summit of the Americas in Panama. A senior official of the State Department expressed it in a conference call where he answered questions from the press, prior to the third meeting in Havana between a Cuban delegation and the one headed by Roberta Jacobson.
The Assistant Secretary of State crossed the Straits of Florida for a stay whose duration is not determined. Member of the Northern representation, whose name was not published in the transcript of the exchange he had with journalists from various media “cannot be sure exactly when they will end,” he said. “We don’t expect these (talks) to be very long, not a large number of days. So I think we will be back probably in midweek. “
He clarified that the trip to Havana was not planned, but since last February it was agreed “that we would have more conversations in person if we felt it was productive to.”
The round of talks is exactly three months after the phone call between Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro, instant when both made public the process to restore diplomatic relations.
“He thinks that this can be done before April and the Summit of the Americas. Obviously, it’s something we still wanted and it is our hope, “the member of the northern delegation said, paraphrasing the latest opinion expressed by the US president about reconciliation with its Caribbean neighbor.
John Kerry’s office is still reviewing the terrorist status of Cuba, a process that “we will complete as fast as we can,” recalling that the exclusion of this list and the restoration of diplomatic ties are two different processes.
The diplomat, who did not reveal his identity, gave details about the first technical meetings between governments. “There was a dialogue on civil aviation here (in Washington) on March 2 and 3. They were discussing government to government (…) that explored various air transport links that would benefit both countries. “
On March 6 came the meeting between experts on human trafficking. News of understanding between the governments of Cuba and the United States shot illegal immigration to the northern country during the last days of 2014 and the first weeks of 2015.
The dialogue on telecommunications is scheduled for March 24 and 26. On the US side will participate Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda, coordinator of international communications and information policy at the State Department, who was also part of senatorial staff of Obama, before his election as president.
Washington diplomats expect the confrontation with Venezuela does not cloud their negotiations with Cuba, appealing to continue discussions with their counterparts in a “professional, courteous and respectful manner¨
On a recent trip to Caracas, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said that “they cannot deal with Cuba as a carrot or Venezuela with a club” in reference to the doctrine of the Big Stick, coined by US President Theodore Roosevelt, to describe the use of diplomacy “for good,” but without ruling out the use of force.
He added that “the United States has caused a serious injury before the completion of the Summit of the Americas.” The FM Rodriguez must accompany President Raul Castro to that hemispheric forum, scheduled in Panama on April 10 and 11.