AP

Democratic lawmakers visit Havana, meet with Cuban president

Dec 10, 2022, 10:38 PM | Updated: Dec 11, 2022, 12:40 pm

HAVANA (AP) — A delegation of at least three U.S. lawmakers visited Havana and met with Cuba’s government this week, American and Cuban officials confirmed.

Reps. James McGovern (D-MA), Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Troy Carter (D-LA) met with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, leaders in Cuba’s congress and its foreign minister, the U.S. Embassy in Cuba told The Associated Press on Sunday.

It’s one of just a handful of such visits to the island in recent decades. While officials provided few details about what was discussed, Díaz-Canel and Cuba’s Congress tweeted photos of the meetings.

One photo shows Rep. McGovern shaking hands with the Cuban leader and another shows the politicians meeting with other Cuban officials.

“We addressed our differences and topics of shared interest. We affirmed our willingness to improve bilateral relations,” tweeted Díaz-Canel Saturday, also noting he expressed the importance of ending the U.S. government’s six-decade trade embargo on the island.

The meeting comes following a number of visits in past months by Biden administration officials to discuss migration. The talks mark a gradual easing of tensions, which were relaxed during the Obama administration and tightened under the Trump administration.

Cuba is facing the greatest exodus from the island in a decade, fueled by compounding economic, energy and political crises.

In the past year, Cuban arrivals to the U.S.-Mexico border have skyrocketed, and a growing number of boats packed with migrants have been found off of Florida’s coast.

In October, Cubans replaced Venezuelans as the second most numerous nationality after Mexicans arriving at the border. U.S. authorities stopped Cubans 28,848 times, up 10% from the previous month, the latest data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows.

It also comes weeks before the U.S. plans to resume visa and consular services on the island, which had been stalled after a series of health incidents involving American diplomats in 2017.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

5 hours ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

1 day ago

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

2 days ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

4 days ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

4 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

5 days ago

Democratic lawmakers visit Havana, meet with Cuban president