Obama Reopens Migration Talks With Cuba

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2009 7:50 PM CDT
U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta replaces an official picture of outgoing President George W. Bush with that of newly- sworn-in President Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, FILE)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Reaching out to an old foe and risking political turbulence at home, the Obama administration today scheduled meetings with Cuba on migration between the two nations, the New York Times reports. Officials made the move as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resisted pressure from Latin American countries seeking a stronger US measure: bringing Cuba back into the Organization of American States.

Three Florida lawmakers quickly slammed Obama for reopening the talks once closed by President Bush. Obama should first demand that "the Castro dictatorship" extend exit visas to Cubans allowed to enter the US, they said. But a former adviser to President Carter called the move "a very important step toward beginning a new dialogue." Meanwhile, Latin American nations are expected to reinvite Cuba to their regional group at a meeting in Honduras early next month.