According to a statement from the U.S. Department of State, the migration discussion is part of the U.S. and Cuba’s biannual Migration Talks. Set for Nov. 30, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Alex Lee will lead the talks on behalf of the U.S., while Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ U.S. Division’s Director General Josefina Vidal will lead the Cuban delegation.
Vidal has been instrumental in the renewed diplomatic relations talks since earlier this year. She has engaged the U.S. on topics ranging from the reopening of respective embassies, traffic of persons, migration fraud, civil aviation, maritime protected areas and human rights.
“The delegations will discuss continuing implementation of the U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords, which provide for the safe, orderly, and legal migration of Cubans to the United States,” said the State Department, noting the latest round of talks were originally scheduled for July but was delayed due to the re-opening of the U.S. and Cuban embassies last summer.
“The reestablishment of diplomatic relations, the re-opening of embassies, and the much longer process of normalizing relations with Cuba have not changed U.S. policy on Cuban migration,” the State Department later added.
Monday’s talks will kickoff the first of discussions between U.S. and Cuban officials. On Dec. 1, respective government officials will gather for the “Counter-Narcotics Dialogue” in Washington, D.C. The talks on narcotics will include representatives from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Representatives from the State Department, Coast Guard, DEA and ICE will meet Cuban government representatives to discuss methods to stop illegal flows of narcotics traveling between the countries.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba President Raul Castro announced the renewal of diplomatic relations on Dec. 17, last year. Since the renewed talks, the U.S. has removed Cuba as the State Sponsor of Terrorism, which only leaves Iran, Sudan and Syria on the list.
The Obama administration has also enabled the U.S. Department of Commerce and Department of Treasury to amend regulatory rules. On July 20, small ceremonies in Washington, D.C. and Havana observed the official re-opening of respective embassies.