Postal Updates

Bill McAllister

U.S. and Cuba resume regular mail service after test period ended

June 04, 2018 01:00 PM

  • American Airlines flight that carried mail from the United States to Cuba. The countries have resumed regular postal services with each other.

Washington Postal Scene by Bill McAllister

The Cuban postal service, Correos de Cuba, has announced that the United States Postal Service formally has agreed to resume direct postal services between the United States and Cuba, ending a test period that began after President Obama’s administration restored diplomatic relations with the island nation.

Direct mail service to Cuba had been blocked for more than 50 years, part of a United States embargo on the communist nation. Mail was routed through countries with direct mail service to Cuba, creating delays.

“The restoration of this service allows postal deliveries on direct flights between Cuba and the United States of correspondence, postal parcels, express courier, through the post offices of both countries,” the June 1 announcement from Havana said.

According to that statement, both countries agreed in March 2016 to exchange mail for a test period and that all the “technical, operational and safety requirements” had been resolved.

“Packages, priority mail and regular correspondence can now be sent directly,” the Miami Herald reported.

“While relations between the United States and Cuba have cooled during the Trump administration, they have moved ahead on some issues of mutual interest such as direct mail, environmental protection and law enforcement cooperation,” the newspaper said.

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A U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman confirmed that regularly scheduled airlines resumed direct transportation of letters, parcels and Express Mail to Cuba on April 16 after the test using chartered aircraft ended.