As Obama talks of new opportunity with Cuba, the hard diplomatic work in Havana set to begin

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

U.S. and Cuban officials are holding two days of discussions this week about reopening the U.S. embassy in Havana, the first step toward President Barack Obama's goal of ending a half-century of enmity between Cold War foes.

The U.S. delegation headed to Cuba is of the highest level in decades. Meanwhile, Obama was to make his case in the State of the Union Address for seizing the opening with Cuba by ending the U.S. trade embargo of the island. Alan Gross, whose release from Cuba in a prisoner exchange last month cleared the way for a new relationship, was to sit next to Michelle Obama.

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The Havana talks start Wednesday. Officials will speak about migration and then the obstacles to the resumption of full diplomatic relations.