The U.S. embassy in Havana won't be opening just yet

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Cuban and American officials announced that the two nations failed to reach an agreement after two days of negotiations at the U.S. State Department

The two sides have been meeting to forge a deal since President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced in December that the long-time foes would re-establish diplomatic ties after 54 years of isolation.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, the lead negotiator for the U.S., said the long, complicated history between the two countries means there is still work to do, writes USA Today. 

"We still have a few things that need to be ironed out," Jacobson said.

"I do remain optimistic, but I'm also realistic about 54 years that we have to overcome."

 

Since 1977, both sides have had an office called an Interests Section in Washington and Havana that focus mostly on processing visas with little diplomatic work.

Raising those offices to full embassies would allow each nation to appoint ambassadors and engage in the type of direct diplomacy they employ with most other nations.

The two sides have been struggling to agree on the freedoms that diplomats would have in each other's countries under the new relationship. Jacobson has said that American diplomats need to be able to freely travel the country and engage with people throughout the island. She's also been critical of a group of Cuban government security officials who stand guard outside the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, a security cordon the U.S. feels discourages Cubans from entering the building.

 

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