The State Department on Friday, May 22, took an incremental, yet important step toward reestablishing a limited diplomatic relationship with Cuba similar to what existed under the Clinton Administration — high-level migration meetings between Havana and Washington. See AP article here.
Migration talks between the United States and Cuba had occurred regularly, semi-annually (every six months) in fact, from 1995 until 2003. These meetings served to monitor the implementation of the 1995 immigration accords signed between the two countries. See a ‘95 NYT article on the accords here.
The proposal made by the State Department to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington on Friday came a week before the next Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly meeting in Honduras on June 2-3, where it is expected that a resolution will be submitted calling for a process to lift the 1962 resolution suspending Cuba’s membership in the region’s oldest multilateral institution. Last week’s announcement is the latest hint that this administration would like to see U.S.- Cuba relations thaw – but so far the positive hints haven’t added up to much real change. In fact, even after restoring Cuban-American travel rights (see our post here) and signaling a willingness to restore migration talks, today’s policy remains more restrictive and misguided than it was in the early years of George W. Bush’s administration.