US Wants Informal Chat on Cuba Ties

Casual discussions could pave road to 'open relationship'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 27, 2009 8:58 AM CDT
In this April 14, 2009 file photo, a woman is welcomed by relatives after arriving from the US at the Jose Marti airport in Havana.    (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The US is inching toward loosening relations with Cuba on the heels of President Obama’s Latin American trip, the New York Times reports. Cuban diplomats are set to meet informally with US officials to “test the waters,” an administration official said, mulling future talks over migration, drug trafficking, and other issues in efforts at “a serious, civil, open relationship.”

But, the US official warned, “this thing with Cuba is going to take a lot of time, and it may not work.” Such a plan would mark a reversal from an administration that said it would wait for Cuban president Raul Castro to take the next step. Obama sees a “steamroller” of pressure to improve relations, and he’s “trying to drive it, rather than get run over by it,” said a State Department official.