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Cheering Cubans Greet 1st US Cruise Ship in Decades

"This is history," Cuban nurse says

(Newser) - Greeted with rum drinks and salsa dancers, the first passengers to cruise from the US to Cuba in nearly 40 years streamed Monday into a crowd cheering the rebirth of commercial travel on waters that served as a stage for a half-century of Cold War hostility. Many watching the festive... More »

Fidel Castro Tells Obama He Can Keep His 'Presents'

Ex-Cuban leader writes scathing letter that attacks US, Spaniards—even Obama's age

(Newser) - No one expected President Obama to meet with Fidel Castro during his historic visit to Cuba last week. But while Obama was chatting up and taking in a baseball game with brother Raul Castro, the 89-year-old former revolutionary was penning what the AP calls a "long, bristling letter."... More »

Rolling Stones Rock Cuba

Concert capped momentous week for Cuba

(Newser) - The Rolling Stones unleashed two hours of thundering rock and roll on an ecstatic crowd of hundreds of thousands of Cubans and foreign visitors Friday night, capping one of the most momentous weeks in modern Cuban history with a massive celebration of music that was once forbidden here. The week... More »

Castro Opens Up in Rare Cuba Presser

Cuban president answers question about political prisoners

(Newser) - President Obama made history in Cuba today by getting Cuban President Raul Castro to field questions from reporters—inspiring an exchange over democracy and human rights that apparently left Cubans stunned. The White House negotiated to the last minute to make the press conference happen, the AP reports. Among the... More »

Backdrop of Obama Photo Causes a Stir

Hello, Che

(Newser) - It was supposed to be a routine photo op as part of President Obama's trip to Cuba, but instead it lit up Twitter, reports the Washington Post . The reason? During a wreath-laying ceremony at the José Martí Memorial in Havana, Obama was positioned in front of a giant mural... More »

For Obama, Meeting With Fidel Off the Table

But Tuesday's baseball game should be a highlight in Cuba

(Newser) - President Obama meets with Raul Castro Monday as part of his historic trip to Cuba, though not with Castro's more famous brother. Some coverage:
  • Neither nation was interested in a meeting between Obama and Fidel Castro, as ABC News explains. The elder Castro still seems wary of the US.
... More »

Obama, Michelle Land in Cuba

Dissidents are arrested just before Air Force One lands

(Newser) - President Obama made history today by landing in Cuba—the first visit there by a US president in almost 90 years. Obama arrived with first lady Michelle, their two daughters, his mother-in-law, and dozens of business executives seeking opportunities, but not everything went smoothly in the hours before Air Force... More »

Poised to Become Major Player in Cuba: Airbnb

White House grants it expanded license, allowing it to rent to world travelers

(Newser) - Online lodging service Airbnb is allowing travelers from around the world to book stays in private homes in Cuba after the San Francisco-based company received special authorization from the Obama administration, Airbnb announced Sunday. Airbnb was the first major American company to enter Cuba after Presidents Barack Obama and Raul... More »

Fla. Mayor to Float on DIY Raft From Cuba to US

'I want to know what the men, women, and children go through to get here'

(Newser) - The mayor of a Florida town who loves "living outside the box" will soon be living it up on the high seas when he makes what one friend is calling a "very risky" trip, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Clint Johnson, mayor of DeBary, plans on cobbling together... More »

Rolling Stones to Play 'Historic' Cuba Concert

It could 'open the doors for other great bands' to stop in the country

(Newser) - Cuba could soon become a concert destination. The Rolling Stones will play a free show there on Friday, March 25 (Easter weekend), the band announced . The performance at Havana's Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana sports complex will be the country's first open-air concert by a British rock band—... More »

Oldest Castro Brother Dies

Ramon stayed on the farm while Fidel, Raul launched revolution

(Newser) - Ramon Castro, a lifelong rancher and farmer who bore a strong physical resemblance to younger brother Fidel Castro, has died, Cuban state media announced Tuesday. He was 91. Widely known by his nickname "Mongo," the white-bearded Ramon Castro preferred tending crops and livestock to the revolutionary political life... More »

Obama Is Going to Cuba

He'll be the first sitting US president in Havana since Coolidge

(Newser) - President Obama next month will become the first sitting US president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge's trip to Havana in 1928. Obama announced the trip on Twitter Thursday, and ABC News reports that he'll be there March 21-22. The visit will mark a watershed moment for relations... More »

US, Cuba Will Have Commercial Flights Again

The countries signed a deal for up to 110 daily flights on Tuesday

(Newser) - The United States and Cuba signed a deal Tuesday restoring commercial air traffic for the first time in five decades, allowing dozens of new daily flights to bring hundreds of thousands more American travelers a year to the island as early as this fall, the AP reports. Immediately after the... More »

Small Alabama Tractor Company Setting Up Shop in Cuba

First American firm since Castro's revolution

(Newser) - The Obama administration has approved the first US factory in Cuba in more than half a century: A two-man company from Alabama received the green light to build a plant to assemble small tractors for private farmers there, reports the AP . The Treasury Department last week notified partners Horace Clemmons... More »

Why History Will Happen in Cuba's 'Threadbare' Airport

Plus more on pontiff's historic meeting in Havana with Russian Patriarch Kirill

(Newser) - Pope Francis is joining up with Patriarch Kirill in Havana on Friday, a historic event that marks the first time the head of the Roman Catholic Church is meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, notes NBC News , which outlines all the background behind this "religious rendezvous.... More »

US Missile 'Accidentally' Shipped to Cuba

Feds have been asking Havana to return Hellfire

(Newser) - A Hellfire missile sent to Europe for a NATO training exercise ended up in Cuba, and authorities aren't sure whether to blame spies, criminals, or incompetent shippers. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that the inert missile was clearly marked as sensitive cargo when Lockheed Martin sent it to... More »

US-Cuba Thaw Gets Even Warmer

Both nations agree to direct-mail plan and charter flights

(Newser) - As relations thaw between the US and Cuba, direct mail is being re-established and charter flights are flying. The two nations announced Friday they have struck a deal to again have direct mail service, which was cut in 1963 at the height of Cold War tensions. Both countries say they... More »

One Obscure Question Threatens US-Cuba Ties

Can Americans who fled Castro get their stuff back?

(Newser) - As the US and Cuba speed toward renewed relations, an often-overlooked question threatens to gum everything up: Can Americans who fled Castro get their stuff back? At Slate , Seth Stevenson takes a long, fascinating look at the issue of "prior claims," which range from the huge ($268 million... More »

Woman Falls Off Cruise Ship During Floating Music Fest

Norwegian Pearl crew says she went overboard 'intentionally' near Cuba

(Newser) - For the second time in a week , a person has fallen overboard on a major cruise line's ship. The Miami Herald quotes an emailed statement from Norwegian Cruise Line that says an un-IDed woman was seen Thursday evening "intentionally going overboard" from the deck of the Norwegian Pearl,... More »

CIA: Yes, We Covered Up the JFK Killing

Report from an in-house CIA magazine says how

(Newser) - Think the CIA played a role in covering up the John F. Kennedy assassination? Now an important source agrees with you: the CIA. According to an article written by the agency's senior in-house historian, the CIA purposely held back information from the Warren Commission, Politico reports. John McCone, then... More »

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