U.S. sen­a­tors tour, speak with of­fi­cials

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD -

Sen. Pa­trick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said Satur­day that Cuba is mak­ing progress on re­form, but much re­mains to be done, in­clud­ing open­ing a U.S. em­bassy. “Ob­vi­ously, we still have dif­fer­ences, but I look for­ward to the United States be­ing able to have a real em­bassy here,” he said a news con­fer­ence at a ho­tel in cen­tral Ha­vana.

Leahy was lead­ing a bi­par­ti­san del­e­ga­tion to the is­land to meet with top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, busi­ness lead­ers, diplo­mats and Cuban cit­i­zens to mea­sure the pace of eco­nomic and so­cial change, and to de­ter­mine the sta­tus of talks on de­tente more than five decades af­ter ties were bro­ken off. The two coun­tries have been ne­go­ti­at­ing the reestab­lish­ment of em­bassies fol­low­ing the Dec. 17 an­nounce­ment that they would move to re­store ties, but six months later no agree­ment has been reached.

Also on the del­e­ga­tion were Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Ben­jamin L. Cardin (D-Md.). Cardin said the del­e­ga­tion made clear to Cuban of­fi­cials that the path to nor­mal­iza­tion must in­clude deal­ing with thorny is­sues where the United States and Cuba have se­ri­ous dis­agree­ments, such as hu­man rights.

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