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Josefina Vidal receives a check for US $ 4,085 once a year, the money for the rent of the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. But the Cuban government refuses to cash the checks, issued to a nonexistent treasurer, because it considers illegal occupation of Guantanamo. Fidel Castro used to put them in a box and says Vidal that now they are stored in files "as a historical document," a symbol of the rivalry between the two countries for over half a century.
Now that the two countries are leaving behind their rivalry and restored diplomatic relations, many old bilateral conflicts are surfacing to be negotiated.
Both sides want to make fast progress in some relatively simple matters, possibly including an agreement on civil aviation. But others will take years or may never be solved.
Vidal said that civil aviation, under which US and Cuban airlines could obtain landing rights in both countries, is an area in which they could reach an agreement soon.
She also said that Cuba is willing to discuss areas of conflict, such as 5,913 claims from  Americans whose properties were nationalized by the Cuban government after the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.
Both countries will resume talks on direct mail, environmental protection and combating drug trafficking, Vidal said, building on agreements already reached to mitigate oil spills and on cooperation in search and rescue at sea.


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