US, Cuba to renew talks on law enforcement issues

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A high-level US delegation will visit Cuba soon to revive discussions with the communist-ruled island on police and law enforcement issues, the State Department said Thursday.

“US and Cuban officials will meet this month... in Havana to discuss topics of bilateral interest on international law enforcement matters,” including transnational crime, a State Department spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

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The official did not give dates for the meeting but said the delegation will include officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security.

The talks are designed to pursue “constructive discussions... to advance US interests,” the spokesman said, but will not come “at the expense of human rights.”

Washington and Havana last year resumed talks on migration issues amid a tide of Cubans fleeing the island toward the United States.

The US embassy in Havana this month resumed issuing visas for Cubans wishing to settle in the United States.

But a “normalization” of relations with the island nation is not yet on the agenda.

Former US president Donald Trump had put an end to the policy of openness towards Cuba initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama.

When President Joe Biden took office in early 2021, he promised to review American policy toward Cuba. But his policies hardened following anti-government protests on the island in July 2021, and a subsequent crackdown on dissent.

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