Updated 02:02 AM EST, Mon, Nov 30, 2020

U.S.-Cuba Relations: Countries to Restore Postal Service

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Former foes, Cuba and the United States have renewed their diplomatic ties and have reopened embassies. Both countries will also be restoring postal services, which were suspended 52 years ago during the height of The Cold War.

In a report with BBC, the move to restore postal services between both countries is part of the rapprochement process that was earlier announced by U.S. president Barack Obama and Cuban president Raul Castro in December of last year.

A pilot postal service is expected to launch soon. However, it is not currently clear when a full postal service would be made available.

According to the Washington Post, International express mail will be not available yet. The postal service website has also laid out some package restrictions on parcels being shipped to Cuba can only include things such as food, medicines and "personal hygiene items."

Details of the agreement have reportedly remained sketchy. Though both the U.S. and Cuba agreed to finalize the details in several weeks. However, Cuba did state that both countries are still discussing unspecified "technical, operational and safety aspects" of expanded mail service.

Cuba further said that both sides share "the hope of eventually institutionalizing" mail service "on a permanent basis in the future." The U.S. only talked about the pilot postal program. 

Cuba and the US began restoring postal links between both countries in 2013, reports BBC. The restoration began before the change of policy was implemented.

The mailing system was complicated back then as mail and parcels between the Cold War enemies were re-rerouted by way of a third country, mostly Mexico or Canada.

Meanwhile, direct phone connections between Cuba and the United States were restored earlier in March of this year. Before this change took place, phone calls also needed to go through a third country.

Despite improved relations, Cuba claims that its connection with the North American nation will not stablize until the U.S. leaves Guantanamo Bay and stops implementing the economic emargo on the Latin American country.

The economic embargo is estimated to have cost Cuba more than $1.1tn and the US economy $1.2bn a year. Obama has already called for the embargo to end, citing that it had "failed to improve the lives of the Cuban people".

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