Cuba

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Inside the Secret Ottawa Meetings on Cuba

Pope, Canada played key roles in talks that began in June last year

(Newser) - The historic thaw in US-Cuba relations didn't happen overnight, but came after more than a year of secret talks that had already been going on for months when President Obama caused a stir by shaking Raul Castro's hand at Nelson Mandela's funeral last year. Insiders tell Bloomberg... More »

Obama: Time for 'New Chapter' With Cuba

President says current approach is 'outdated,' needs to go

(Newser) - President Obama today confirmed that the US is going to play nice with Cuba after a half-century of frosty relations. "We will end an outdated approach that has failed to advance our interests," said Obama, speaking after Havana released US prisoner Alan Gross . "Neither the American nor... More »

5 Years Later, Alan Gross Is on US Soil

Cuba released ailing American held in detention

(Newser) - American Alan Gross landed on US soil this morning, touching down with wife Judy at Andrews Air Force Base after Cuba released him after five years in prison. He was released on humanitarian grounds by the Cuban government at the request of the United States, a senior Obama administration official... More »

What New US-Cuba Relations Look Like

US to cut travel restrictions after release of Alan Gross

(Newser) - With the release of American Alan Gross , the beleaguered relationship between the US and Cuba is poised to undergo major changes. The two countries are preparing to normalize their diplomatic relations, which were severed in January 1961, the Wall Street Journal reports, and the US plans to re-establish its embassy... More »

US Secretly Riled Cubans Against Gov't—Via Hip-Hop

Agency infiltrated music scene to spark change among country's youth

(Newser) - For more than two years, a US agency secretly infiltrated Cuba's underground hip-hop movement, recruiting unwitting rappers to spark a youth movement against the government, according to documents obtained by the AP. The idea was to use Cuban musicians "to break the information blockade" and build a network... More »

Wife: American Held 5 Years in Cuba Is 'Wasting Away'

She calls on Obama to secure Alan Gross' release

(Newser) - As of today, American Alan Gross has been in a Cuban prison for five years, Reuters reports, and his wife is calling on President Obama to bring him back before it's "too late." "I am afraid that we are at the end," says Judy Gross.... More »

UN Slams Our Cuba Embargo for 23rd Year in a Row

Resolution passes 188-2

(Newser) - The only thing different this year was Ebola: For the 23rd year in a row, the United Nations General Assembly passed a near-unanimous resolution condemning the long-standing American embargo against Cuba. The vote this year was identical to 2013, with 188 countries in support and only the US and Israel... More »

Hellish Ordeal in Caribbean: Migrants Drank Own Blood

Group spent 23 days adrift in Caribbean

(Newser) - Survivors who spent 23 days adrift in the Caribbean in an attempt to get to the US from Cuba have finally made it to America and have shared details of their hellish ordeal. "I'm happy I made it, alive, but it was something no one should have to... More »

Papers: Kissinger Made Plan to 'Smash' Cuba

Infuriated secretary of state sought airstrikes because of Angola incursion

(Newser) - The co-author of a new book about negotiations between the US and Cuba says Henry Kissinger was the secretary of state who tried the hardest, in secret, to establish normal relations with Havana, NPR reports. So when Castro launched a military mission in Angola in late 1975, Kissinger was "... More »

'Unresponsive' US Couple Crashes Plane Near Jamaica

US fighter jets followed plane as far as Cuba

(Newser) - A real estate developer and his wife flew "apparently incapacitated" on a 1,700-mile flight today before crashing off the coast of Jamaica, reports the AP . Rescue teams from the US are investigating, but the Democrat and Chronicle reports that Larry and Jane Glazer, both 68, have died. They... More »

What About the Other American 'Left Behind'?

Alan Gross has been imprisoned in Cuba for 5 years: Ruth Marcus

(Newser) - Regardless of where you stand on the controversy surrounding Bowe Bergdahl's release —Ruth Marcus calls herself "tentatively against the (prisoner) swap"—it serves as an argument for aiding another captive American. Alan Gross, a state department subcontractor, has been in a Cuban prison for almost five... More »

Book: Castro Traveled With Personal Blood Donors

Former bodyguard says Cuban leader lived like a king

(Newser) - Fidel Castro was not the spartan Socialist he claimed to be, says a former bodyguard. In fact, Juan Reinaldo Sanchez writes in Fidel Castro's Hidden Life that Castro lived very much like a king, reports the Guardian and Miami Herald . Among the claims:
  • Castro enjoyed a private island, Cayo
... More »

Cuba: We Busted 4 Miami Residents in Terror Plot

Exiles sought to attack military installations: officials

(Newser) - Four Cuban exiles based in Miami have been arrested for allegedly planning terrorist acts in Cuba, Reuters reports. The country's interior ministry says the suspects—Jose Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodriguez Gonzalez, Raibel Pacheco Santos, and Felix Monzon Alvarez—were targeting military installations "with the objective of furthering violent... More »

American on Hunger Strike in Cuban Jail

Alan Gross has been jailed for 4 years, wants out

(Newser) - After four years cooling his heels in a Cuban prison, American Alan Gross has begun a hunger strike he says is a protest against his treatment by both Havana and Washington. Gross, 64, was arrested in 2009 while working for USAID as a sub-contractor to get Internet access to Cuba'... More »

US Tried to Sow Dissent By Building 'Cuban Twitter'

AP reveals secret program aimed at spurring Cuban Spring

(Newser) - The US in 2009 started work on a thoroughly 21st-century way to attempt to stir unrest in Cuba: It concocted a "Cuban Twitter" that it hoped would draw young people that it could prod toward dissent, an AP investigation has found. The text messaging platform, ZunZuneo—slang for a... More »

'Complicated' Cuban Art Heist Uncovered

Paintings from national museum turn up in Miami

(Newser) - They're not quite working together, but American and Cuban authorities are both looking into the theft of at least 70 artworks from a Havana museum. In the first such heist reported since the 1959 Cuban Revolution, paintings worth a total of around $1.5 million were apparently cut from... More »

Fidel Castro Makes Rare Appearance

He's out in public for first time in 9 months

(Newser) - A "frail-looking" Fidel Castro showed up in public for the first time in nine months last night, reports the BBC . The occasion was the opening of an art studio in Havana, and the AP notes that the state's official newspapers and websites showed the 87-year-old only from behind.... More »

Elian Gonzalez Is All Grown Up, and He's Mad

Says it's US' fault his mom died

(Newser) - Remember Elian Gonzalez? Well, he's not the little boy the US sent back to Cuba anymore. Gonzalez turned 20 last week, and he isn't happy with his almost-home. In an interview with CNN yesterday, Gonzalez said he blamed the US for the death of his mother, who drowned... More »

Is the Obama-Castro Handshake a Big Deal?

Right fumes over gesture at Mandela memorial

(Newser) - At Nelson Mandela's memorial, President Obama shook hands with the Cuban president, and the media is in a tizzy about it. "The handshake between Obama and Raúl Castro makes the stomach turn," writes Mona Charen at the National Review . "The nature of the Cuban regime... More »

'Homesick Hijacker' Returns to US After 29 Years

William Potts in FBI custody after return from Cuba

(Newser) - An American who hijacked an airliner to Cuba nearly 30 years ago as a self-described revolutionary was in custody today, a day after returning home on a charter flight from Havana. The FBI says agents took William Potts, 56, into custody shortly after his flight arrived at Miami International Airport.... More »

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