US and Cuba to re-establish direct postal links today
After a break of nearly five decades, Cuba and the United States are set to restore direct postal links today (16 March). The postal link will initially be re-established through a “pilot” service – but this is expected to be made permanent soon.
According to a notice posted on the Correos de Cuba website yesterday (15 March), the service will allow mail and parcels to be sent in both directions. There will also be a courier and express parcel service.
The restoration of direct postal links is part of a more general rapprochement between the US and Cuban governments – which US President Barack Obama spoke about in his State of the Union address. Yesterday, the White House released a statement in which White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the Obama administration has “sought ways to increase opportunity for Americans and improve the lives of the Cuban people, including by opening the door to increased travel and commerce between our two countries”.
Earnest continued: “Among other changes, today the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce announced significant regulatory changes to make it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba, expand access to U.S. financial institutions and the U.S. dollar from Cuba, and expand the ability for Cubans living in the U.S. to earn a salary. These changes, coupled with the arrangement recently announced by the Departments of State and Transportation allowing up to 110 non-stop flights daily between the United States and Cuba, will significantly increase the ability of U.S. Citizens to travel to Cuba to directly engage with the Cuban people.”