Cuba and the United States Held New Round of Migration Talks in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 13 (acn) A new round of migration talks between Cuba and the United States was held on Wednesday in Havana. The delegations were headed by Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister Dagoberto Barrera and by the US’s Principal Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta Jacobson.

The Cuban News Agency reproduces the full text of a press release issued on Wednesday by the Cuban delegation to this new round of migration talks.

“A new round of migration talks between the United States and Cuba took place on January 12, 2011. Both countries’ delegations to the meeting were headed by Mrs. Roberta Jacobson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and Mr. Dagoberto Rodríguez Barrera, Deputy Foreign Minister, respectively.

“The meeting developed in an atmosphere of respect. An assessment was made of the way in which both parties have complied with their commitments under the migration accords in force. The meeting recognized there has been a significant reduction in risky illegal departures from Cuba to the United States as a result of the efforts carried out by both countries to cope with migrant smuggling and illegal migration.

“Deputy Foreign Minister Dagoberto Rodríguez expressed: ‘It was a fruitful exchange aimed at moving on to the establishment of more effective mechanisms of cooperation to combat illegal migrant smuggling. Cuban authorities have systematically responded to U.S. requests and have provided valuable information as well as testimonies and evidence suitable for prosecuting smugglers before U.S. courts. Cuba reiterated its interest in strengthening bilateral cooperation in this area.’

“The Cuban delegation reaffirmed once again that migrant smuggling will not disappear nor could a legal, safe and orderly migration be achieved between our two countries as long as the Cuban Adjustment Act and the wet foot/dry foot policy – which encourage illegal departure of Cubans to the United States – remain in place.

“The Cuban delegation reiterated its willingness to maintain these exchanges.”

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