HAVANA, August 14th (The scientist) In June, President Donald Trump announced that he was reversing course on former President Barack Obama’s decision to mend relations with Cuba.

“The previous administration’s easing of restrictions of travel and trade does not help the Cuban people,” Trump said at a rally in Miami. “They only enrich the Cuban regime.”

But prior to Trump assuming the presidency, scientists in the two countries had already charted a path to increase international collaboration. In 2014, a group of American researchers and policy experts, sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), met with Cuban counterparts at the Cuban Academy of Sciences in Havana.

The result of that meeting was a memorandum of understanding between the two parties that outlined a plan to regularly meet to find scientific common ground between the two nations’ research enterprises.

The first meeting took place in December 2015 and focused on neuroscience. The second, held in May of last year, involved cancer immunotherapy. The third meeting will be held this week at the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine in Havana.