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Monday, June 4, 2018

Cuba and the US resume the direct mail service permanently

Por Damian

The direct postal service between Cuba and the United States, which was interrupted for decades and was carried out through third countries, was resumed in a stable manner once a pilot plan of almost two years was completed, an official source reported Friday. Find out next about the rest of the details.

Correos de Cuba Business Group and the US Postal Service "agreed to permanently implement, in direct flights, the exchange of postal mail between both countries", said a note from the Cuban postal service broadcast by the state-run Cuban News Agency.

This is another step in the now almost paralyzed process of normalization of relations between the island and its northern neighbor, initiated in 2014 by the then presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, and which has included the mutual reopening of embassies and the restoration of direct flights, among other milestones.

"The execution of the service in its current format began on April 16, 2018 and takes into account the technical, operational and security requirements identified by the parties during the execution of the Pilot Plan", notes the post of Correos de Cuba.

The restoration of this service will allow postal deliveries on direct flights between the island and the US of mail, parcels and express courier, through the post offices of both countries, he explains.

He adds that through the website of Correos de Cuba - in the address - information on services, rates and regulations is available, as well as a tracking and tracking tool for shipments with a registration code.

Postal deliveries between the two countries were suspended in 1968 after the explosion of a bomb from New York in a postal stash; since then and for 48 years the postal link was made through a third country.

Negotiations to regularize direct service began in 2009, were interrupted and resumed in 2013, although it was not until the end of 2015 when the Bilateral Commission for the normalization of Cuba-US relations signed an agreement to restore shipments through a pilot transport plan.

On March 16, 2016, on the eve of Barack Obama's historic visit to Havana, the inaugural flight of the restored direct mail service between Cuba and the US operated by the IBC Airways company landed on the island from Miami.

That day, a Postal Security inspector from the US Postal Service handed the letter to the president of the Correos de Cuba Business Group, Asencio Valerino, resuming the postal exchange between the two countries.

However, last October Correos de Cuba reported that direct service with the United States had been detained for almost seven months and again it had been necessary to resort to shipments through third countries, which caused a 46 percent drop in traffic postal between both countries with respect to 2016.

The company's first vice president, Zoraya Bravo, explained that the exchange was paralyzed because the test plan was about to expire, and from then on, efforts were made to regularize the exchange through commercial airlines since until then they had made through charter flights.