Cuba

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US, Cuba on Verge of Reopening Embassies

Washington talks could iron out final details: official

(Newser) - The US and Cuba are so close to restoring diplomatic ties broken more than 50 years ago that they're now discussing possible dates to have embassies back up and running. Officials say meetings between negotiators beginning today in Washington will serve to iron out final details. "I'm... More »

We're About to Get Cuba's Lung Cancer Vaccine

Clinical trials of Cimavax could start this year

(Newser) - Closer American ties with one of the world's major cigar exporters could actually be good news in the fight against lung cancer. Cuba has developed Cimavax, an effective lung cancer vaccine, and American researchers can now finally get their hands on it, reports Wired . After New York Gov. Andrew... More »

'Bienvenido!' Francis Welcomes Raul Castro

Pontiff helped drive warming US-Cuban relations, will visit island

(Newser) - Cuban President Raul Castro received a warm welcome at the Vatican today from Pope Francis, who played a key role in the breakthrough between Washington and Havana aimed at restoring US-Cuban diplomatic ties. "Bienvenido!" Francis said in his native Spanish, welcoming Castro in a studio near the Vatican... More »

Florida Ferries Going to Cuba Again

Also, JetBlue adds a weekly flight from New York City

(Newser) - The US embargo on Cuba is still in place, but two developments today further suggest that its days are numbered:
  • Ferry service: Two companies have gotten approval from the US to begin running ferries from Florida to Cuba for the first time in 50 years, reports the Sun Sentinel . The
... More »

Fidel Castro Smuggled Coke Into America

Former bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sanchez pens book about old boss

(Newser) - Fidel Castro, ragtag communist revolutionary? Not according to a new book that chronicles his alleged luxurious lifestyle and drug-smuggling into the United States. A former bodyguard to Castro, Juan Reinaldo Sanchez—who fled Cuba in 2008 and has made similar allegations before—describes them fully in The Double Life of ... More »

Obama to Remove Cuba From Terrorism List

President notifies Congress he's making the move

(Newser) - It's a major milestone in US foreign policy: President Obama is removing Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, reports AP . The move is a crucial step in Obama's bid to normalize relations between the two countries and follows a face-to-face meeting and handshake between Obama... More »

Obama, Castro Break the Ice

The US, Cuba meet for first time in over 50 years

(Newser) - The leaders of the US and Cuba held their first formal meeting in more than half a century today, clearing the way for a normalization of relations that had seemed unthinkable to both Cubans and Americans for generations. In a small conference room in a Panama City convention center, President... More »

Castro: 'Obama Is an Honest Man'

Presidents meet later today

(Newser) - They shook hands last night, and today President Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro continued on the same track in public speeches at the Summit of the Americas. Castro, however, first castigated the US by reeling off a list of grievances spanning the decades, reports AP . But then he made... More »

Obama, Castro Shake Hands

It was brief, informal, historic

(Newser) - A simple handshake is making big headlines tonight—because the handshakers were President Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro. Reuters quotes a White House official as saying the men shook hands and exchanged some brief chit-chat in Panama during the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Americas. "This... More »

US, Cuba Hold Highest-Level Meeting in More Than 50 Years

John Kerry met with Cuba's foreign minister last night

(Newser) - The top US and Cuban diplomats have met in Panama in the highest-level meeting between the two governments in more than half a century. The US State Department says Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez met yesterday evening in Panama City, where the Summit of... More »

Fidel Castro Appears in Public

Former Cuban president greets group of Venezuelans

(Newser) - Former longtime Cuban president Fidel Castro has appeared in public for the first time in more than a year, according to official state media. The Cubadebate website says Castro greeted a group of Venezuelans visiting the capital of Havana. Cubadebate yesterday published four images that show Castro sitting inside a... More »

Havana Throws Stray Mutts State Homes, Health Care

Which is a little better than a bone, really

(Newser) - Life on city streets often keeps stray dogs lean and mean, but select pooches in Havana could be forgiven for thinking that all dogs are in heaven: The AP ventures into the Cuban capital, and finds that, pseudo-officially and unofficially, it has a soft spot for street dogs—as well... More »

Scary New HIV Strain Appears in Cuba

It turns into full-blown AIDS in only 3 years

(Newser) - A fierce new strain of HIV in Cuba is highlighting an old danger—of sleeping around without using any protection, CBS News reports. Researchers say the new HIV is a combination of strains (possibly from multiple sex partners) that more quickly invades cells and turns into full-blown AIDS. A study... More »

Fidel's 'Yankee Comandante' Could Return to US

William Morgan's widow wants his remains returned to Ohio

(Newser) - In America, he was William Morgan, a high school dropout from Ohio who worked for the mob. But in Cuba, he was the Yankee Comandante who fought the revolution alongside Fidel Castro and Che Guevara; as a biographer puts it, the "ne’er-do-well who found his cause, his love,... More »

Cuba Trots Out New Castro Photos Amid Health Rumors

Ex-Cuban leader reportedly had meeting with student leader on Jan. 23

(Newser) - Fidel Castro is apparently spending his retirement convincing people he's alive: After his silence when the US and Cuba reopened relations spawned rumors about his failing health or even death, he belatedly penned a Jan. 26 letter , AFP reports. Now Cuban state media has released more than 20 photos... More »

Cuba to US: Return Guantanamo Bay

Raul Castro renews demand amid thaw in relations

(Newser) - Cuba is making a renewed push to get Gitmo back. President Raul Castro demanded today that the United States return the US base at Guantanamo Bay, lift the half-century trade embargo on Cuba, and compensate his country for damages before the two nations re-establish normal relations. Castro told a summit... More »

Fidel: I Still Don't Trust US

But former Cuban leader, finally breaking silence, says he backs negotiations

(Newser) - Fidel Castro ended his long silence over his country's decision to restore diplomatic ties with the United States, writing that he backs the negotiations even though he distrusts politics in Washington. The comments were the first by the 88-year-old revolutionary leader on the talks with the US since the... More »

'I Almost Lost My Mind': Guantanamo Prisoner's Diary

Sexual abuse, beatings, force-feedings: 12-year inmate's book describes torture

(Newser) - For 12 years, Mauritania native Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been Prisoner No. 760 at Guantanamo, accused of aiding and abetting the 9/11 terrorists and involvement in a halted attack at LAX, der Spiegel reports. He's since confessed to multiple crimes, but he now says those admissions were only because... More »

NY Governor to Head to Cuba on Trade Mission

Andrew Cuomo has planned several international trips to aid upstate economies

(Newser) - New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, is poised to visit Cuba on a trade mission within months, an insider tells the Wall Street Journal . The move would make Cuomo one of the first major US politicians to head to the island since diplomatic relations between the countries have been renewed.... More »

These New US-Cuba Rules Start Tomorrow

Still no tourist travel, but no more special travel licenses either

(Newser) - The Obama administration is putting a large dent in the US embargo against Cuba (which only Congress can end) as of tomorrow, significantly loosening restrictions on American trade and investment. A rundown of those new Treasury and Commerce Department regulations, per today's announcement:
  • General tourist travel is still prohibited,
... More »

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