According to a report by Reuters, recent negotiations between Cuba and the US have been productive. The Bilateral Commission meeting, the second of which took place last week, addressed resuming scheduled flight service and postal service, among other matters, after decades of suspension.
“We are very close to the first agreements or arrangements that we could be able to announce in the next few weeks,” said Josefina Vidal, the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s chief of U.S. affairs and head of the Cuban delegation in the talks, told reporters at the Cuban Embassy in Washington.
According to a Bilateral Commission statement, “It provided an opportunity to review progress on shared priorities, including regulatory issues, telecommunications, claims, environmental protection, human trafficking, human rights, migration, and law enforcement.”
Also last week, a senior State Department official said that Washington would not first demand human rights progress from Havana.
“We are making progress. We are making regulatory changes. We’ll make more,” said David Thorne, a senior adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry.
Obama has eased travel restrictions on Americans, authorized telecommunications companies to operate in Cuba, and permitted trade with Cuba’s small but growing private sector, among other measures.
“The pace is really going to be set by the Cubans and we are satisfied with how they want to do this,” said Thorne, who did not specify what changes might come.