United States Sends Envoy to Cuba

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Above: US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S Jacobson

By the Caribbean Journal staff

A United States envoy is visiting Cuba this week for talks aimed at re-establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S Jacobson launches her visit in Havana Wednesday; the trip will conclude on Jan. 24.

Jacobson is the highest-ranking US official to visit the Caribbean country in decades.

In a release, the State Department said the visit would take advantage “take advantage of previously planned Migration Talks to launch a discussion with the Cuban Government on re-establishing diplomatic relations.”

“Re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba is a key step for the implementation of changes in the U.S.-Cuba relationship announced by President Obama on December 17,” the State Department said. “The agenda will include technical and logistical arrangements such as, embassy operations, staffing, and visa processing.”

Jacobson will also be meeting with members of civil society along with business and religious leaders, the government said.

“This new conversation with Cuba is both an historic and important process that will advance U.S. interests. It will strengthen the United States’ ability to advocate for positive change on the island,” the State Department said. “By facilitating the Cuban people’s access to greater resources and information, the policy change seeks to engender greater respect for human rights and adherence to democratic principles in Cuba.”