Democratic deputies visit Havana and meet the Cuban president
This is one of the few such visits to the island in recent decades. While officials provided few details about what was discussed, Díaz-Canel and the Cuban Congress tweeted photos from the meetings.
One photo shows Rep. McGovern shaking hands with the Cuban leader and another shows the politicians meeting with other Cuban officials.
“We discussed our differences and topics of common interest. We affirmed our desire to improve bilateral relations,” Díaz-Canel tweeted on Saturday, also noting that he expressed the importance of ending the US government’s six-decade trade embargo on the island.
The meeting comes after a number of visits over the past few months by Biden administration officials to discuss migration. The talks mark a gradual easing of tensions, which eased under the Obama administration and tightened under the Trump administration.
Cuba is facing the biggest exodus from the island in a decade, fueled by deepening economic, energy and political crises.
Over the past year, Cuban arrivals at the US-Mexico border have skyrocketed and increasing numbers of boats full of migrants have been discovered off the coast of Florida.
In October, Cubans replaced Venezuelans as the second most numerous nationality after Mexicans arriving at the border. US authorities arrested Cubans 28,848 times, up 10% from the previous month, according to the latest data from US Customs and Border Protection.
It also comes weeks before the United States plans to resume visa and consular services on the island, which had been blocked after a series of health incidents involving American diplomats in 2017.