Expelled Spies Continue Leadership Role in U.S.-Cuba Normalization Talks 5

Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officer Josefina Vidal

Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officer Josefina Vidal

U.S. and Cuba Meet for Talks to Fully Restore Diplomatic Ties

By Randal C. Archibold, New York Times

MEXICO CITY — The United States and Cuba are closer than ever to reaching an agreement to fully restore diplomatic relations and reopen embassies, officials in both countries said as negotiators met Thursday in Washington for another round of talks to iron out remaining details and discuss possible dates.

The move toward full diplomatic relations broken decades ago during the Cold War has been seen as a key step toward ending hostilities and normalizing ties with a historic opponent that once agreed to allow Soviet nuclear missiles on its soil and repelled an invasion by American-backed insurgents.

Yet progress toward full diplomatic relations has not gone as swiftly as initially hoped in December, when President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba first committed to restoring ties in a surprise announcement.

Now, with a number of obstacles out of the way or close to it, particularly for the Cubans, the talks have reached the most optimistic point after four rounds of conversations in Havana and Washington.

“I’m trying not to sound too Pollyannaish,” said a senior State Department official, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about closed-door diplomatic matters. “But I do think we’re closer than we have been in the past, and I think my counterparts are coming up here with a desire to get this done.

“But equally,” the official added, “we have certain requirements that we need met, so we just have to see whether we can get there in this round of talks. I certainly hope so.”

Gustavo Machin, a top Cuban diplomat who has been part of his country’s delegation at the talks, told reporters in Havana on Monday, “We don’t see obstacles but rather issues to resolve and discuss.”

The governments closed their embassies after President Dwight Eisenhower broke diplomatic relations on Jan. 3, 1961, in response to a demand by Cuba’s new leader, Fidel Castro, that the American Embassy staff be significantly reduced. Mr. Castro called the embassy a spy outpost, part of an American plot to topple the Communist government he installed after the 1959 revolution.

Feature continues here:  Spies Lead Talks

Editor’s Note:  Josefina Vidal and Gustavo Machin, both undercover members of the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), are suspected of being Department M – I (US Targets) officers. The elite staff of this Department handles penetrations of the US Intelligence Community, Congress, other Federal agencies, and academia.  

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5 comments

  1. Hello Chris, I sure hope this great nation has great counter-intelligence officers, sometimes I feel that we are going backward. 54 years in the USA and hoping to see a free, non Castro Cuba.

    • We’re actually feeling that the failure of the Cuban nation to expel Castro by its own efforts instead of waiting from the Americans. After having got rid from Machado and Batista in less than a decade, the Cuban nation seems to have the dictator it deserves.

  2. Chris,I’m hoping our government don’t grant any more concessions to the alcoholic Cuban dictator Raul Castro.He is looking to get the Guantanamo naval base returned to him.If this event takes place our country’s security would be jeopardize because the Russians would be moving in Gitmo. Raul Castro genuinely doe not wants any real friendship with our government all Castro is doing is creating this negotiation as a smoke screen to have us entertained on this event while he is planning a different ploy with the Russians against our country. Don’t trust communists,they never flight straight!

  3. It is a new day for Cuba, despite what pundits may say. The people of Cuba have remained inventive, resourceful, friendly, yet, while living in a general socioeconomic scenario not deserving of Cuba´s people outstanding—and long-standing—historic work ethic. A totalitarian state will destroy a work ethic, without economic incentives and such is always the primary source—the starting point—to generate and bring about a state of general welfare to a nation. Those who believe in capitalism, should let it work side-by-side in a totalitarian state in an “old Cuba” purporting to remain the same, while a whole new socio-economic environment sprouts soon and flourishes with the impending, renewed diplomatic relations. Freedoms come with responsibility, they´re not free and freedom is maintained by working hard to procure it, not talking about it from 90 miles afar, under a critical lens that has nothing to do with the very sad daily reality of the people in my homeland. The highest tenets of freedom are founded upon best, when a socio economic scenario in a country has virtually imploded—as in Cuba—and is, hence, rebuilt, brick by brick, with the single most solid constructive element that will bond a country´s economic infrastructure together: “The free enterprise system”. It is no surprise, food, clothing and shelter are Cuba´s primary wants today, when that has been taken away from a country´s people, its people will not have time to think of anything else, but their own daily survival. “Resolviendo” is the present daily preoccupation of the people in my homeland. Freedom will not happen overnight, but the transformation of Cuba will be gradual and its people´s emulation–ironically–will be pointed in the direction of the United States of America, in spite of what the minority that now rule my homeland with an iron fist with respect to the most basic rights of its citizenry. Factor this dynamic about to come together in a few days or so, and as in any struggle for freedom throughout history, there will come a time when the foundation to freedom will be so pervasive, throughout my homeland, it will be evident the people of Cuba will live once again in a state of freedom deserved. And thanks to the leadership of the highest office of a nation, which Cuba´s present government, historically, has pronounced it to be its biggest adversary. Thanks to the leadership of President Barack Obama and the support of the truly noble people of the United States of America who in great, great majority support the re-establishment of U.S., Cuba diplomatic relations. Let history take its due course, it is time now.

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