Efforts to normalise relations between the US and Cuba are gaining momentum, with a second round of diplomatic talks expected on Friday.
A month after a US delegation visited Havana, Cuban officials are due in Washington for an historic visit.
After the US announced a major shift in policy towards Cuba in December, some experts believe a US embassy could open in Havana before the summer.
Ted Piccone, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said:
“It’s the second step towards a diplomatic relationship, to open embassies and maintain contact and cooperation in certain areas of national interest for the United States such as areas to combat drug trafficking, terrorism and maritime security.”
But there are major obstacles to overcome. Havana, for example, is expected to press Washington to take Cuba off its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Experts also say Congress will want more guarantees on human rights if there’s to be any progress on lifting a decades-old trade embargo on Cuba.