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Obama announces shift in US ties with Cuba

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-12-17

The United States and Cuba announced an historic thaw in relations between the two countries on Wednesday, more than 50 years after they were severed. Follow this landmark event as it happened below.

  • US President Barack Obama has announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba and the easing of economic and travel restrictions between the two countries.
  • In a simultaneous address on national TV, Cuban President Raul Castro made the same announcement, noting that while differences between the US and Cuba remain, they must learn to cohabit “in a civilized manner”.
  • Pope Francis played a major role in the latest move toward normalisation of bilateral ties. The Vatican has released a statement congratulating the two countries for the historic decision.
  • Cuba has released US national Alan Gross after nearly five years in captivity along with a senior, unidentified US intelligence agent. The US has returned three members of the so-called Cuban Five, who were convicted of spying.
  • Washington broke off diplomatic relations with Havana and imposed a trade embargo in 1960, following Fidel Castro’s move to nationalise US businesses in Cuba.

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Live Blog US moves toward lifting Cuba embargo

Date created : 2014-12-17

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