US and Cuba agree to restore direct postal links

US and Cuba agree to restore direct postal links

The United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish direct postal services between the two countries through the implementation of a pilot plan for the transportation of mail. The governments reached an understanding on Thursday (10 December) in talks taking place in Miami.

The pilot plan will provide for mail flights between the two countries several times a week, rather than routing mail through a third country.

In a statement issued on Friday, the US Department of State said that the details of the plan will be finalized in the coming weeks.

The US delegation was led by Lea Emerson, Executive Director for International Postal Affairs at the US Postal Service (USPS), and the Cuban delegation was led by Cuban Ambassador to the United States Jose Ramon Cabanas Rodriguez.

Direct mail links between Cuba and the US were suspended in 1963, at the height of the Cold War, and mail and parcels have had to re-routed through a third country, usually Mexico or Canada.

In December 2014, presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced a rapprochement between the two countries. They have since restored diplomatic ties and reopened embassies. In March, direct phone connections with the US were restored after more than 15 years.

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