Cuba establishes banking relationship in US, furthering ties

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 WASHINGTON (AP) — Cuba has established a banking relationship in the U.S., clearing another major obstacle to the countries re-establishing diplomatic relations, a senior State Department official said Tuesday.

The official refused to identify the bank, though news reports had suggested Cuba was negotiating with a Florida-based financial institution. The Cuban government will make an announcement soon, said the U.S. official, who wasn’t authorized to be quoted by name and briefed reporters anonymously.

There was no immediate response from Cuba’s government.

Securing banking operations was among Cuba’s biggest demands as diplomats try to make good on the promises of Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro to restore embassies in Washington and Havana after a half-century interruption. Without an account, the Cuban Interests Section in Washington has been forced to pay bills and salaries with cash, often resorting to hauling in money from Cuba to maintain operations.

Another major hurdle to rapprochement, the U.S. designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, expires May 29.

Senior American and Cuban officials will gather again this week in Washington to canvass the remaining differences between the former Cold War enemies.

Read more  http://bigstory.ap.org/article/c3d7407a6eb04f6b83a894b06eeb467e/cuba-establishes-banking-relationship-us-furthering-ties

 

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