SATURDAY, A WEEK AGO, IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT CUBA AND THE UNITED STATES HAD REACHED A MARITIME SEARCH AND RESCUE AGREEMENT OTHER MARITIME ISSUES ARE ON THE TABLE..
Editorial Note:12/30/2014 The United States and Cuba have reestablished diplomatic relations. The issues described here in may start to move a bit faster....for better or worse. (updated 2/20/2015)
Cuba, US reach maritime rescue agreement
On Saturday September 21,2013 the Castro government in Havana reported that Cuba and the United States have reached a rare preliminary agreement on working together. This time in the field of air and sea rescue in the region known as the "Straits of Florida". , Havana's state newspaper Granma reported some details last Saturday. Annualy thousands of Cubans leave the country illegally aboard fragile boats to try to reach Florida, which is 90 mile across the Florida Straits.
The provisional agreement was reached Friday and must now be approved by the governments of each nation. Cuba and the United States have not had diplomatic relations since 1961, two years after Fidel Castro came to power in the Cuban revolution.
Under current policy, Cubans caught on the high seas illegally bound for the U.S.are repatriated. But if they make it to US shores they are admitted, allowed to stay and in approximately a year may acquire residence papers.
Additional U.S. Cuban talks are scheduled. Cuban and US postal officials held talks last Monday (9/16/2013) on resuming direct postal service between the two countries.Postal issues are still being discussed. Back in July they resumed discussions on migratory issues. These had been on hold since 2011.