News / USA

US, Cuba Restart Migration Talks After Two-Year Break

Reuters
The United States and Cuba resumed immigration talks in Washington on Wednesday after a two-year hiatus and U.S. officials said they had again pressed for the release of jailed American contractor Alan Gross.
 
The last migration roundtable between the United States and Cuba was in January 2011 when officials met in Havana.
 
The talks were led by Alex Lee, acting U.S. deputy assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, and Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, Cuba's foreign ministry director general for U.S. affairs.
 
The State Department said the U.S. delegation reiterated a call for the release of Gross, who is serving a 15-year sentence in Cuba for installing Internet networks for Cuban Jews as part of a U.S. program that Cuba considers subversive.
 
FIILE - In this photo provided by James L. Berenthal, jailed American Alan Gross poses for a photo during a visit by Rabbi Elie Abadie and U.S. lawyer James L. Berenthal in Havana, Cuba, Nov. 27, 2012.FIILE - In this photo provided by James L. Berenthal, jailed American Alan Gross poses for a photo during a visit by Rabbi Elie Abadie and U.S. lawyer James L. Berenthal in Havana, Cuba, Nov. 27, 2012.
x
FIILE - In this photo provided by James L. Berenthal, jailed American Alan Gross poses for a photo during a visit by Rabbi Elie Abadie and U.S. lawyer James L. Berenthal in Havana, Cuba, Nov. 27, 2012.
FIILE - In this photo provided by James L. Berenthal, jailed American Alan Gross poses for a photo during a visit by Rabbi Elie Abadie and U.S. lawyer James L. Berenthal in Havana, Cuba, Nov. 27, 2012.
Gross' arrest in late 2009 and sentencing in March 2011 halted a brief thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations after Obama took office in January 2009.
 
The department said Lee made it clear that Gross was “trying to facilitate communications between Cuba's citizens and the rest of the world.”
 
The sides also discussed the application of U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords, which seek to promote safe, legal and orderly migrations between the two countries.
 
Over the past half century, thousands of Cubans have died trying to cross the treacherous Florida Straits in flimsy boats and homemade rafts.
 
The United States accepts about 200,000 Cubans annually via legal immigration and also takes in those who manage to reach U.S. shores. But under the “wet foot, dry foot policy” it turns back Cubans picked up at sea.
 
In a statement, the Cuban delegation said the meeting had taken place in a “climate of respect” but noted that legal, safe and orderly migration could not be achieved as long as the “wet foot, dry foot” policy remained in place.
 
The meeting comes as the United States and Cuba explore the possibility of resuming direct mail services, which U.S. diplomats insist does not mean a change in American policy toward Cuba.
 
Earlier, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the  United States would not raise during Wednesday's meeting the issue of a North Korean ship caught in Panama last week smuggling arms from Cuba in contravention of U.N. sanctions.
 
She said, however, that Washington would talk to Cuba “very soon” about the ship.
 
Panama stopped the ship and seized the cargo, which included missile equipment and arms on board that Cuba said were obsolete Soviet-era weapons being send to North Korea for repair.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More