Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Proposing Limited Talks with Cuba on Refugee Exodus

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Proposing Limited Talks with Cuba on Refugee Exodus

Article excerpt

President Bill Clinton's administration has proposed holding limited talks with the Cuban government on migration issues, and Cuba has expressed interest, U.S. officials said Friday.

Although senior administration officials cautioned that negotiations were far from certain, they said the two governments were discussing the prospect and could come to a decision in the next few days.

Such discussions would be far more limited than the broad-scale negotiations Cuban President Fidel Castro demanded recently as the price for ending the exodus. Castro wants the United States to discuss the economic embargo against Cuba, as well as the flight of refugees from Cuba. But some analysts believe that Castro may settle for less if the United States makes concessions.

Cuban Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina said Friday his government wouldn't refuse if the United States wanted to discuss the issue of migration with Cuba without bringing in other issues.

"We would be ready to listen," Robaina said at a news conference in La Paz, Bolivia.

If the Cubans choose to go along with the U.S. offer, the limited talks could offer an opportunity for the two sides to end the flight from Cuba and possibly save the United States the cost and trouble of holding the refugees in detention camps at Guantanamo.

The developments came as the tide of Cuban refugees continued in the Florida Straits despite increasingly heavy seas and squalls. The Coast Guard reported it had picked up 414 Cuban migrants by evening Friday, a drop from the 1,670 recovered Thursday.

Coast Guard officials said they expected more violent weather off the Florida shores on the weekend, with the prospect of 45-knot squalls and 10-foot waves.

Also Friday, in line with a policy Clinton announced last weekend, the Treasury Department put into effect new rules prohibiting Cuban Americans living in the United States from sending money to their relatives in Cuba - a move designed to squeeze Cuba's economy.

The regulations also restrict charter flights between Cuba and the United States, allowing transport only of legal immigrants from Cuba, government officials of both countries, journalists and people who are involved in research projects, humanitarian programs and religious organizations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.