Cuba and the United States reestablished direct mail service with the arrival of the inaugural flight that landed on Wednesday at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport from the U.S. city of Miami
Shortly after 10:00 a.m., the SAAB 340 aircraft of IBC Airways arrived at the Aerovaradero terminal carrying the postal cargo, which was received by Cuban authorities headed by Carlos Asencio Valerino, president of the Correos de Cuba Business Group and officials from the Civil Aeronautics Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Customs of the Republic.
Carlos Rodriguez, U.S Postal Inspector of the U.S. Mail Service,
symbolically handed over to the president of Correos de Cuba the letter that reopened exchanges between the two countries as well as a sample of the postmark designed for the occasion, while saying: “we are making history.”
In exclusive statements to ACN, Correos de Cuba First Vice-President Soraya Bravo said the flights’ frequency will be three times a week —Monday, Wednesday and Friday— from Miami, Florida, starting from March 25.
Bravo highlighted that, with the resumption of the service, mail between the two countries will shorten travel and delivery times and establish regularity while gaining in security since the agreement between the two nations prioritizes this issue, given that deliveries were suspended in 1968 after the explosion of a bomb coming in a parcel from New York.
The Correos de Cuba official stressed that in Havana a second building was fitted out at the International Exchange Office, exclusively to process mail to and from the United States, equipped with modern technology, which will allow the processing of five tons of mail in 12 hours.
The Pilot Plan agreed with the U.S. party that will last a year will
include three weekly flights of three tons each.
The reestablishment of direct postal service will make it possible to
increase delivery speed of mail, previously sent through a third country- and lower operational costs, and will allow national users to send to the neighboring country correspondence and parcels, which are no more than postal packages of up to 10 kilograms, with a price established by current tariffs, underlined Bravo.
After six and a half years of negotiations, on December 10, Cuba and the United States agreed to reestablish direct mail service through the implementation of a pilot plan for the transportation of post.
Cuba and the U.S. are signatories to the Convention of the Universal
Postal Union which commits them to provide service for all citizens with affordable prices and quality.
After coordinating technical, operational and safety details for
implementation, the Courier and International Exchange Company of the Correos de Cuba Business Group contracted the services of IBC Airways to transport international correspondence and postal parcels.
The inaugural flight reestablishing direct mail exchanges between the two nations left behind decades of mistrust and demonstrates the will to move towards a different relationship.
The two countries began to discuss regularization of direct postal
service in 2009, but then there was a four-year impasse in which the issue was not tackled, until discussions were resumed in 2013.
The new context of rapprochement between Havana and Washington made it possible that a year after the announcements of December 17, 2014, the reestablishment of direct mail service between the two countries was agreed.
The resumption of the service is one of the first tangible results after
the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Havana and Washington in July last year and will benefit citizens on both sides of the Florida Strait, which will be able to send, more quickly and safely, correspondence, postal packages, courier and express parcels through post offices.