By Chris Simmons
The next round of US-Cuban discussions will be held on January 21 and 22 in Havana. Deputy Assistant Secretary Alex Lee is expected to lead the U.S. delegation at the migration talks on the 21st, while Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson will lead at the normalization talks on Jan. 22nd.
The Cuban delegation is expected to be led by Josefina Vidal, director of the North American Affairs Division within Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Vidal led the previous round of migration talks last July in Washington, D.C. A member of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Central Committee, Vidal was thrown out of the US in May 2003 as part of a mass expulsion of Havana’s spy-diplomats. For five years, her office also played a central role in the negotiations regarding the return of USAID contractor Alan Gross.