From April 10 t0 11 there will be held the VII Summit of the Americas (SA) with the participation of officials from 35 countries. Cuba has been invited for the first time 20 years after the creation of the meeting of Heads of State and Government, although Cuba actually has never been absent.
US Secretary of State John Kerry was to meet his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez on Thursday, the highest level diplomatic encounter between the former Cold War foes in half a century.
Kerry’s office announced the meeting after the envoys arrived in Panama for the Summit of the Americas, the first since Washington and Havana began a cautious attempt to renew ties.
US President Barack Obama is also in Panama and he is expected to meet Cuba’s President Raul Castro — perhaps briefly on the sidelines of the summit proper on Friday or Saturday.
Kerry’s meeting was to take place late Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. US officials said that, as best they could recall, the last such meeting between the top Cuban and US diplomats dates back to September 1958.