On Wednesday, July 17, U.S. and Cuban officials met in Washington to discuss the implementation of the 1994 and 1995 U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords. This marks the first time since January 2011 that these periodic talks have been held. Under the Accords, both governments pledge to promote safe, legal, and orderly migration from Cuba to the United States. The agenda for the talks reflected longstanding U.S. priorities on Cuba migration issues. The U.S. delegation highlighted areas of successful cooperation in migration, including advances in aviation safety and visa processing, while also identifying actions needed to ensure that the goals of the Accords are fully met, especially those having to do with safeguarding the lives of intending immigrants.
The U.S. delegation reiterated its call for the immediate release of Alan Gross, a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Cuba since December 3, 2009, solely for trying to facilitate communications between Cuba’s citizens and the rest of the world.
The U.S. delegation was led by Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Alex Lee and the Cuban delegation was led by the Foreign Ministry’s Director General for U.S. Affairs, Josefina Vidal Ferreiro.