US says it's not clear after Cuba talks if new policy will work, bring reform to island



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HAVANA (AP) — The highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Cuba in more than three decades says two days of talks on re-establishing full diplomatic relations have left her with no sense of whether the new U.S. policy of engagement will achieve its goal of generating reforms that benefit the Cuban people.

The Obama administration says the goal of its Cuban policy remains to create more freedoms for ordinary Cubans.

But Cuban diplomats said throughout the negotiations in Havana that the U.S. needs to abandon hopes of using closer relations to foment change on the island.

Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson is telling reporters today that the U.S. will make decisions intended to "empower the Cuban people," but adds: "the verdict on whether that succeeds is still to be made."

Cuba's top diplomat for U.S. affairs told reporters last night that "Cuba has never responded to pressure."

Both U.S. and Cuban diplomats stressed the importance of the collegial atmosphere in Havana that included long working lunches and a dinner together.

%@AP Links

170-a-08-(Roberta Jacobson, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, at news conference)-"a first step"-Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson says the U.S. and Cuba have made progress in restoring diplomatic relations. (23 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *170 (01/23/15)££ 00:08 "a first step"

171-a-14-(Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, at news conference)-"areas of concern"-Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson says the U.S. addressed areas of disagreement with Cuba during two days of talks aimed at restoring diplomatic ties between the countries. (23 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *171 (01/23/15)££ 00:14 "areas of concern"

172-a-17-(Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, at news conference)-"the Cuban government"-Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson says she pressed Cuba to improve human rights during the talks. ((note length of cut)) (23 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *172 (01/23/15)££ 00:17 "the Cuban government"

173-a-14-(Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, at news conference)-"trafficking in persons"-Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson says the U.S. will aim to advance what shared interests it does have with Cuba. (23 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *173 (01/23/15)££ 00:14 "trafficking in persons"

043-c-15-(Bradley Klapper, AP correspondent)-"and the like"-AP correspondent Bradley Klapper reports Thursday's talks were focused on the logistics of restoring diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S. (23 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *043 (01/23/15)££ 00:15 "and the like"

044-c-21-(Bradley Klapper, AP correspondent)-"issues at stake"-AP correspondent Bradley Klapper reports both sides describe the talks as productive, but there are some big sticking points. (23 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *044 (01/23/15)££ 00:21 "issues at stake"

045-c-21-(Bradley Klapper, AP correspondent)-"get off that"-AP correspondent Bradley Klapper reports there are still major obstacles, for both sides, before normal diplomatic relations could be restored. (23 Jan 2015)

<<CUT *045 (01/23/15)££ 00:21 "get off that"

APPHOTO XRE101: Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson speaks at a press conference while Jeffrey DeLaurentis, right sitting, chief of mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Edward Alex Lee, second right, listen at the official residence of the U.S. Interests Section, in Havana, Cuba, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) (23 Jan 2015)

<<APPHOTO XRE101 (01/23/15)££

APPHOTO XRE112: Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson gives a press briefing during the second day of talks with Cuban officials, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. The United States and Cuba are trying to eliminate obstacles to normalized ties as the highest-level U.S. delegation to the communist island in more than three decades holds a second day of talks with Cuban officials. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) (22 Jan 2015)

<<APPHOTO XRE112 (01/22/15)££

APPHOTO XRE119: Cuba's head of North American affairs Josefina Vidal, speaks during a briefing after taking part in talks with the U.S. reprentatives, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. The United States and Cuba are trying to eliminate obstacles to normalized ties as the highest-level U.S. delegation to the communist island in more than three decades holds a second day of talks with Cuban officials. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan) (22 Jan 2015)

<<APPHOTO XRE119 (01/22/15)££

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The Associated Press

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