US, Cuba to renew direct postal service after 52 years

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HAVANA: The United States and Cuba said Friday they have agreed to restore direct postal service 52 years after severing it at the height of the Cold War. The pilot plan “will provide for mail flights between the two countries several times a week, rather than routing mail through a third country,” the US State Department said in a statement. It said details were still under discussion. The Cuban foreign ministry said the plan would take effect “in the coming weeks” and then be rolled out permanently. The news comes six days from the first anniversary of the historic announcement by Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro that the two countries would renew diplomatic ties after more than half a century. The two nations reopened embassies in each other’s capitals in July. The United States and Cuba broke off direct postal service in 1963, the year after Washington slapped a suffocating trade and financial embargo on Havana that exists to this day, despite Obama’s calls for Congress to lift it. Currently, letters and packages must pass through third countries, delaying delivery by up to a month.

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AFP

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