Cuba and the US negotiate six new cooperation agreements
Cuba and the United States work on the negotiation of six new cooperation agreements in areas such as the implementation and enforcement of law, seismic monitoring and the exchange of meteorological information, said Josefina Vidal, general director for the United States of the Cuban Foreign Ministry.
The official said in an on-line interview through the social network Twitter that these work commitments will also include protected marine areas, search and rescue, and the coordination of responses to spills of hydrocarbons and other substances in the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Strait.
From Washington, at the end of the 4th meeting of the Bilateral Commission between the two nations, Vidal said that seven new visits of high level in both directions were planned for the months of October and November, in addition to a dozen technical meetings on topics of common interest, like health, the environment, education and a wide gamut of bilateral and multilateral aspects.
While answering a question by ACN she underlined that in the Bilateral Commission Cuba reiterated its condemnation of the programs that are tried to be implemented in the island without the authorization and approval of corresponding institutions, like the recent case of the World Learning scholarships for youngsters.
Vidal insisted on the need that the U.S: government eliminates the financing of programs aimed at causing internal changes in Cuba, an action she considered essential to normalize bilateral relations.
The diplomat expressed that even though the U.S. administration approved that Cuba uses dollars in its international financial transactions, so far the island has not been able to make any payment to third parties nor deposits in cash in that currency.
She emphasized that President Barack Obama has wide prerogatives to act in the economic-commercial sphere, like he did with telecommunications, an could authorize the export of more products to the island, as well as to allow U.S. investments in Cuba.
Obama could normalize bank relations by allowing Cuban banks to have correspondent accounts in financial institutions of that country.
In Friday’s talks, it was reiterated that in order to advance in the improvement of relations it will also be necessary to return the territory illegally occupied by the Naval Base of Guantanamo and that the Cuban Adjustment Act, the dry-feet-wet feet policy and the Parole Program for Cuban Medical Professionals are eliminated, which not only encourage the illegal and unsafe emigration of Cuban citizens but also deprive the island of vital human resources ad create increasing difficulties to other countries.
The 5th meeting of the Bilateral Commission will take place in December, thus giving continuity to the mechanism of work announced by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after the re-establishment of diplomatic relations.
Josefina Vidal headed the Cuban delegation to the meeting, while heading that of the United States were Mari Carmen Aponte and Jonathan Finer, Assistant Secretary of State for Hemispheric Affairs and the director of policy planning of the State Department, respectively. (acn)