1) United States and Cuba Hold High-level Discussions

By: Pace International Law Review Editorial Staff

Bisa Williams, the acting deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, met with Deputy Foreign Minister Dagoberto Rodriguez several days ago in Havana, according to officials. The subject matter of the meeting was to establish direct mail services, which had been suspended since 1963. Before this meeting, letters between the two nations would take weeks to arrive at their destination due to having to be routed through third countries.
The talks are indicative of change in the U.S. foreign policy towards the Communist-ruled island. The talks follow discussions to allow Cuban nationals to emigrate to the U.S., which had been suspended since the Bush administration in 2003. The current administration seeks to improve ties with Cuba, but has maintained that it will not lift sanctions on Cuba until it has freed political prisoners and allows freedom of speech, among other democratic measures. Although Cuba has insisted on the lifting of sanction in light of the new communications, it has indicated a willingness to aid the U.S. in preventing drug trafficking and the spread of terrorism.

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