The U.S. State Department signed a memorandum of understanding submitted by the Cuban Ministry of Interior on Monday in which both governments agreed to share information on international criminal activity. The memorandum, signed by Jeffrey DeLaurentis, chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, and Vice Adm. Julio Cesar Gandarilla, the newly appointed Cuban interior minister, allows for not only the increased sharing of information, but also joint investigations and possible cooperation between law enforcement officials.
A statement from the National Security Council regarding the agreement touts bilateral law enforcement cooperation to stem global issues like terrorism and drug trafficking as in the interests of both nations: “The goals of the President’s Cuba policy have been simple: to help the Cuban people achieve a better future for themselves and to advance the interests of the United States. While significant differences between our governments continue, the progress of the last two years reminds the world of what is possible when we are defined not by the past but by the future we can build together.”
This is just one in a flurry of moves regarding Cuba made in the waning days of the Obama administration — last Friday, the administration announced the end of the “wet-foot, dry-foot” program which grants immediate asylum to all those who emigrate from Cuba to the U.S. This recent activity comes as the Cuba policy of the incoming Trump administration remains unclear.
More information on the deal can be found here: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-cuban-interior-ministry-sign-law-enforcement-deal-44817653