Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for January 4, 2023

Newsline: US embassy in Cuba resumes visa and consular services

The United States Embassy in Cuba is restarting visa and consular services Wednesday. The Embassy confirmed it will begin processing immigrant visas, with a priority placed on permits to reunite Cubans with family in the U.S., and others like the diversity visa lottery. They are anticipated to give out at least 20,000 visas a year, though it’s just a drop in the bucket of the migratory tide, which is fueled by intensifying economic and political crises on the island. (https://www.wifr.com/2023/01/04/us-reopening-visa-consular-services-embassy-cuba/) The resumption comes amid the greatest migratory flight from Cuba in decades, which has placed pressure on the Biden administration to open more legal pathways to Cubans and start a dialogue with the Cuban government, despite a historically tense relationship.

Newsline: Paris calls Burkina Faso’s request to withdraw French ambassador “not standard practice”

The French foreign ministry on Tuesday said it had received a letter from the Burkinabe authorities in December requesting the departure of Frances’s ambassador from Burkina Faso – a move the ministry called “not standard practice.” In emailed comments, the French ministry’s spokeswoman confirmed it had received such a letter, but declined to give further details or say how it had responded. “We have indeed received a letter from the Burkinabe transitional authorities. This is not standard practice and we have no public comment to make in response,” she said. (https://neuters.de/world/paris-says-burkina-faso-requested-withdrawal-french-ambassador-2023-01-03/) The whereabouts and status of French Ambassador Luc Hallade could not immediately be confirmed. The embassy in Ouagadougou declined to comment. The Burkinabe government has declined to comment officially on reports it sent this request to Paris last month.

Newsline: Top Brazil, U.S. diplomats discuss Lula White House visit, Venezuela

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Brazil’s new Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira on Tuesday and discussed a trip to Washington by newly sworn-in leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. They also talked about Venezuela, ministry sources told Reuters. At a time when the Biden administration is relaxing some sanctions on Venezuela, the new Brazilian government could become a bridge with Caracas due to Lula’s good relations with Venezuelan leaders, they said.(https://neuters.de/world/americas/blinken-talks-lula-white-house-visit-venezuela-with-top-brazil-diplomat-2023-01-03/) Blinken called Vieira for a 40-minute chat that covered among other issues cooperation on the environment and trade. “We look forward to continuing the strong partnership between the United States and Brazil on trade, security, sustainable development, innovation and inclusion,” Blinken said on Sunday by Twitter, congratulating Lula on his victory. The two governments are working on a date for a visit to Washington by Lula, the U.S. State Department said. Brazil’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. One source said the trip could take place in February.