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    Roberta Jacobson

    US, Cuba to Establish Direct Mail, Increase Anti-Drugs Cooperation

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    The United States and Cuba plan on establishing direct mail services between the two countries, as well as increase collaboration in anti-drug policy.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States and Cuba will enhance cooperation to establish direct mail correspondence and will increase counternarcotics collaboration, US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson said on Tuesday.

    “On practical issues, such as establishing direct mail, counternarcotics cooperation and oil spill mitigations among others, we agreed to continue dialogue and increase cooperation,” Jacobson said during the Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on US-Cuba Relations.

    New steps in promoting US-Cuba cooperation will also include “increasing authorized travel and commerce, and the flow of information to, from and within Cuba,” Jacobson added.

    “The regulatory changes will increase the financial resources to support the Cuban people and the emerging Cuban private sector, they will also enable US companies to expand telecommunications and Internet access into Cuba,” Jacobson specified.

    Jacobson said that the US and Cuban governments have both “shared interests” and “sharp differences,” and that “US administration is under no illusions about the nature of the Cuban government.”

    “I also raised with our Cuban interlocutors our concerns about its harassment, use of violence and arbitrary detention of Cuban citizens peacefully expressing their views,” Jacobson said, adding that she met with Cuba’s dissidents, entrepreneurs and independent media representatives.

    The assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere explained during the hearing that talks on normalizing relations will take significantly longer than just the reestablishment of relations.

    On December 17, 2014, US President Barack Obama announced Washington’s decision to reestablish diplomatic relations with Havana and ease five-decade-long US trade and travel restrictions on the island. The United States had an embargo in place against Cuba since 1961, which was initially put in place due to Cold War antagonism between Washington and the Communist government in Havana.

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