A historical agreement between Cuba and US concerning joint marine search and rescue. At a meeting of delegations from the two countries, held in Havana, attended by experts and officials, a common document was signed as a first step towards future inter-force coordination. The aim is to guarantee greater efficiency in rescue operations in the stretch of sea that separates the US and Cuba. 90 miles of sea that had become part of the rift between two opposing ideologies in the fine balance of geopolitics.
According to local reports, the meeting developed in a climate of respect and cooperation. The respective delegations were led by Oscar del Toro Quesada, president of the Coordinating Commission of Search and Rescue of Cuba, and Richard A. Button, chief of the Search and Rescue Coordination Division of the U.S. Coast Guard Service. The meeting was attended by officials of the Cuban Transport Ministry, the Ministries of the Armed Forces and Interior, and the Foreign Ministry of Cuba, and representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard Service, the Transportation Department and the State Department.
The document drawn up at the conclusion of the meeting stresses the importance of strengthening the coordination for the aeronautical and marine search and rescue operations and the need of saving the life of people in danger, while pledging to guarantee the efficiency and effectiveness of the operations carried out by the entities responsible for this activity in both countries. The United States government unilaterally broke off formal relations with Cuba in 1960 for ideological differences: the post-ideological thaw is helped by a shared interest in greater safety at sea.