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Cuba and US started “complex and difficult” talks over mutual compensation

Cuba and US started “complex and difficult” talks over mutual compensationThe Cuba-U.S. talks on settling multibillion dollars of claims made against each other are one of the most "complex and difficult" negotiations in their normalization process which started last year, a senior Cuban official said Monday.

"It is an issue of very high complexity, with difficult political, technical and legal aspects that is only in its initial stage," Cuba's Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno told local press.

Delegations from Cuba and the US met last week in Washington to make progress with negotiations on one of the most heated topics in the process of normalizing diplomatic relations: mutual compensation for confiscations and harm caused to citizens of both countries.

The meeting took place on July 28-29, marking the second meeting held on the controversial issue since the announcement of restored relations back on Dec. 17, 2014. and their first meeting in Havana on December 8, 2015.

The meeting put financial compensation alternatives on the table for both countries. Washington is seeking upward of $10 billion, mainly for properties nationalized in Communist-run Cuba after its 1959 revolution. Havana, meanwhile, wants at least $300 billion for economic damage wrought by the U.S. trade embargo and for the harm caused by acts of what it describes as U.S. aggression.

"Both sides exchanged information on their respective claims, legal and technical aspects as well as basic information on each case with the goal of preparing the process of negotiation," said Moreno who also headed Cuba's delegation to the talks.

He said that both sides will continue in the coming months to hold meetings on the issue but added that Cuba will not rush the talks.

"We are talking about a process in two directions, Cuba will not accept unilateral solutions," he noted.
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