[US Department of State] Office of the Spokesperson
February 20, 2015
On February 27, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson will host a delegation from the Cuban government led by Josefina Vidal, general director of the U.S. Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss re-establishing diplomatic relations. The talks will take place at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. and will focus on matters related to reopening embassies, including the functions of diplomats in our respective countries.
These talks continue the dialogue initiated by the parties on January 22 in Havana, Cuba and are a key step in implementing the new direction in U.S.-Cuba relations announced by President Obama on December 17, 2014. It is in the interest of both countries to re-establish diplomatic relations and re-open embassies. A U.S. Embassy in Havana will allow the United States to more effectively promote our interests and values, and increase engagement with the Cuban people. As with the more complex process of normalizing relations, re-establishing diplomatic relations requires the agreement of the governments of both Cuba and the United States.
Editor’s Note: Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officer Josefina Vidal was thrown out of the US in May 2003 as part of a mass expulsion of Cuban spy-diplomats.