01:44 GMT02 December 2020
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    US-Cuba Relations Recieve Major Makeover (174)
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    As relations thaw between the once-antagonistic neighbor nations, Washington and Havana are negotiating the resumption of postal communications and the operation of commercial flights between the two states.

    An unnamed US official close to diplomatic circles told the Associated Press that by the end of the year the US and Cuba would likely reopen postal service and come to an agreement on commercial flights.

    The official also pointed out that significant progress had been made in bilateral talks since July, when the two countries reopened embassies.

    During negotiations in Havana last week, the sides planned to normalize relations between the countries in full within 15 months.

    According to a so-called “pilot” postal program, citizens of both the US and Cuba will be able to send and receive letters and packages directly to one another for the first time since 1963. For decades, mail traveling between Cuba and the United States had to travel through other countries like Mexico, Panama and Canada.

    Direct flights between Cuba and the US would likely be possible only next year, the official noted, as sides have to finish talks on re-establishing airline routes first.

    The US has said it will issue new rules that would allow Americans to visit the island nation and open businesses there.

    The two countries have achieved progress in several other important spheres this year as well.

    For instance, American and Cuban drug control agencies are about to start collaborative work. In addition, environmental scientists including those from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have joint work planned.

    Although the embargo on Cuba has yet to be lifted, a move only possible by way of a congressional ruling, authorities have pledged to complete the normalization of relations between the states before President Obama leaves office in January 2017.

    US-Cuba Relations Recieve Major Makeover (174)


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    US-Cuba Relations, US postal service, aviation, Cuba, US
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