Monday, May 25, 2015

CUBA - Ready, Set, Go?

"Is Cuba ready for the big business, tourism that U.S. will bring?" PBS NewsHour 5/21/2015


SUMMARY:  U.S. and Cuban diplomats resumed talks to iron out details of normalizing relations after decades of hostility.  Judy Woodruff learns more from senior correspondent Jeffrey Brown, reporting from Cuba, and chief foreign correspondent Margaret Warner, who has been following the talks in Washington.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Officials from the U.S. and Cuba resumed talks today in Washington.  They’re trying to iron out the details of reestablishing diplomatic relations, which were broken off more than 50 years ago.

At issue today, what it will take to reopen embassies in each other’s capitals?  In December, Presidents Obama and Castro announced that they reestablish ties.  And meeting in Panama, they reaffirmed that commitment.

Our own Jeffrey Brown is in Cuba all this week, reporting on what the opening up of that country means for them.  And chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner has been following the progress of the talks here.

And we welcome both of you.

So, Margaret, you have been following these talks.  What’s the latest?

MARGARET WARNER (NewsHour):  The latest is, Judy, that they have wrapped up for the day and there is still no deal.  Now, this is the fourth time they have met over the fairly confined issue of opening up embassies in each other’s capitals.  And it’s proved tougher than they thought.

That said, apparently, things went encouragingly enough today that the two negotiators, Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary, and her counterpart from Cuba, are having back-to-back news conferences tomorrow morning here in Washington.  But then Ms. Vidal is returning to Havana.

There is some concern among U.S. officials that Cuba may be dragging its feet here a bit.  Cuba has gotten what it wanted here, which was to have the President take it off the state sponsors of terrorism list and also help in finding a U.S. bank that was willing to handle Cuban money for the interests section.

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