13 January 2011

US Visa and immigration talks “fruitful” says Cuba

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Cuba has called a meeting between senior US and Cuban diplomats on Wednesday to discuss immigration and security matters as “fruitful”.


Talks between Cuba and the US on matters such as illegal US immigration have been respectful.

Tensions between the two countries have been high over illegal US immigration across the Straits of Florida and the long detention of an American man on suspicion of spying.

US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley’s comments on the meeting were more subdued, noting they had again raised the issue of Alan Gross, a US government subcontractor held by Cuba without charge since December 3, 2009.

As for immigration, Crowley’s written comments sent from Washington stated that the two sides discussed areas of positive cooperation, as well as other issues "where there have been obstacles." He gave no further details of these issues.

Deputy Cuban Foreign Minister Dagoberto Rodriguez, who led the Cuban delegation, said the two sides discussed ways to combat illegal immigration and people-smuggling across the treacherous Straits of Florida into the US.
"It was a fruitful exchange aimed at ... the establishment of more effective mechanisms of cooperation to combat illegal migrant smuggling," he said.

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