Breakthrough unlikely in U.S., Cuba embassy talks

Cuba

Friday was the second round of talks on diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba in Washington. Before these talks began, senior administration officials described this round as quote: “Disappointingly workman-like.” If progress is to be gleaned, so far, it is that at least scheduled dialogues about deeper coordination on the path to diplomatic relations for the two nations is at least happening.

CCTV America’s Jessica Stone filed this report from the U.S. capital.

Breakthrough unlikely in U.S., Cuba embassy talks

Breakthrough unlikely in U.S., Cuba embassy talks

Friday was the second round of talks on diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba in Washington. Before these talks began, senior administration officials described this round as quote: "Disappointingly workman-like." If progress is to be gleaned, so far, it is that at least scheduled dialogues about deeper coordination on the path to diplomatic relations for the two nations is at least happening. CCTV America's Jessica Stone filed this report from the U.S. capital.

Relations between the U.S. and Cuba have been uprooted for more than a half century. Two major sticking points in the continuing talks on better diplomatic relations have been, so far, left unresolved.

For 33 years, Cuba has remained on the US state sponsor of terrorism list, along with Iran, Sudan and Syria.

The US says Cuba has supported the Basque separatist group, ETA and the FARC in Colombian. Cuba says it shouldn’t be on the list to begin with and must come off as part of restoring full diplomatic ties with the US, but the Chief Cuban negotiator called it a priority, not a prerequisite. Members of Congress who would have to sign off on such a step are lining up to oppose it.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez sent letters this week to the FBI and the US Secretary of State saying Cuba has a long history of “providing sanctuary to terrorists and harboring U.S. fugitives”

Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Thursday, “Let me be clear, Cuba poses a clear and present danger to the United States.”

Cuba’s presence on the terror list has made it difficult to restore its banking services to its Interests Section in Washington after M&T Bank cut service about a year ago. Financial experts say it’s unlikely any new bank will take on Cuba’s business in the US until it comes off that list. The Chief US Negotiator sought to clarify the US role on both issues, Friday.

Assistant US Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson says there will be a series of meetings in both capitals next month on everything from human trafficking to marine protection to civil aviation. Both sides have also agreed to hold formal talks on human rights and will work on setting an agenda, but as far as a future summit of the type we saw Friday, it is unclear whether that will take place again.


Peter Kornbluh of National Security Archives discusses US-Cuba relations

This latest round of talks moves Havana and Washington one step closer to normalizing ties, but pitfalls remain to ending the 54 year strain.

CCTV America interviewed Peter Kornbluh, the director of the Cuba Documentation Project with the National Security Archives.

Peter Kornbluh of National Security Archives discusses US-Cuba relations

Peter Kornbluh of National Security Archives discusses US-Cuba relations

This latest round of talks moves Havana and Washington one step closer to normalizing ties, but pitfalls remain to ending the 54 year strain. CCTV America interviewed Peter Kornbluh, the director of the Cuba Documentation Project with the National Security Archives.


On Page 19 of the U.S. State Department’s Report on State Sponsors of Terror from 2013, Cuba is listed next to Iran
U.S. Report State Sponsors of Terror 2013