World

Talks on confiscated property and damages between U.S. and Cuba get off to slow start

Tightly packed apartment buildings in varying states of repair and disrepair stand in the Vedado neighborhood near the historic Malecón oceanfront drive January 23, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Tightly packed apartment buildings in varying states of repair and disrepair stand in the Vedado neighborhood near the historic Malec√≥n oceanfront drive January 23, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)  (2015 Getty Images)

Cuba and the United States have begun trying to resolve billions in dollars in claims for the confiscation of American properties by the island's socialist government.

Cuba in turn is demanding more than $100 billion in damages for the half-century old U.S. trade embargo on the island.

Resolution of the issues is seen as fundamental to the reestablishment of trade between the countries. A U.S. commission has certified nearly 6,000 claims against Cuba by American and U.S. firms whose property was taken after Cuba's 1959 revolution. The claims are worth as much as $8 billion. U.S. court rulings against Cuba add another $2 billion.

The State Department said Tuesday's nearly daylong meeting served as a forum to exchange information. The sides agreed to meet again within four months.

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