HAVANA, July 22 (Reuters) – A South Florida bank has become
the first from the United States to sign a correspondent banking
relationship in Cuba, a potential boost for U.S.-Cuban commerce
following newly restored diplomatic relations between the
Stonegate Bank, which earlier this year became the
Cuban government’s bank for its diplomatic mission in the United
States, signed a deal with Cuba’s Banco Internacional de
Comercio S.A. on Tuesday, a day after the United States and Cuba
re-established diplomatic ties that had been severed for 54
OS, Cuba (Reuters) – Director Francis Ford Coppola was reflecting on his brush with Fidel Castro, the blandishments to make another gangster film, and the pressure of borrowing at 29 percent interest to shoot “Apocalypse Now.”
But first he needed to cook pasta for 150 film students.
Coppola, the multiple Oscar winner and maker of the “Godfather” films, was in Cuba as a guest instructor at the International School of Cinema and Television.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba remains unconvinced the United States has stopped trying to remove the Communist Party from power despite a public pledge from President Barack Obama disowning “regime change,” a Cuban foreign ministry official said on Thursday.
With the two longtime adversaries set to restore diplomatic relations on Monday after a 54-year break, Cuba said the United States would need to abandon its policy of regime change in order to improve overall ties.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba is prepared to break with the contentious past and peacefully coexist with the United States, Cuban President Raul Castro said on Wednesday as the two former adversaries are set to restore diplomatic ties.
“We are talking about forging a new kind of relationship between both states, different from our entire common history,” Castro, 84, told the Cuban National Assembly, according to official media.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Colombia pledged on Sunday to de-escalate military action against leftist guerrillas if the rebels uphold their unilateral ceasefire, providing a breakthrough in peace talks that had been threatened by an escalation of battlefield violence.
In a joint statement with rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Havana, the Colombian government said it would enact “de-escalation of military actions” beginning July 20 as long as the FARC maintains a ceasefire it called for that date.
HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Cuba are set to announce the restoration of diplomatic relations on Wednesday, the result of a two-year courtship between former Cold War rivals who severed ties in 1961.
The chief of the U.S. interests section in Havana will report to Cuban foreign ministry around 9 a.m. (0900 ET) to deliver a letter from U.S. President Barack Obama to Cuban President Raul Castro.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Three visiting U.S. senators said on Saturday they hoped Congress would support President Barack Obama’s opening toward Cuba, including lifting a ban on U.S. citizens traveling to the Communist-run island.
Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Ben Cardin of Maryland joined Republican Dean Heller of Nevada on a trip to Cuba where they met First Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and ordinary Cubans.
HAVANA, June 22 (Reuters) – Detente with the United States
appears to have helped Cuba’s communist economy, which officials
expect to grow 4 percent in the first half of 2015, in line with
Economy Minister Marino Murrillo delivered an update on the
economy to the cabinet on Friday that was covered in official
media on Monday, attributing growth to better sugar production,
manufacturing, construction and trade.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba’s leading human rights commission on Friday accused the government of having 60 political prisoners, a number the group acknowledges includes armed insurrectionists, hijackers and spies as well as peaceful political activists.
Cuba’s Communist government has said it has no political prisoners, and that opponents mistakenly consider armed counter-revolutionaries and common criminals as political cases.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuban President Raul Castro’s son has emerged as one of his father’s closest aides, taking on an increasingly important role reminiscent of the one Raul used to play for his older brother Fidel Castro.
Alejandro Castro Espin, 49, is a colonel in Cuba’s interior ministry and was until recently a little-seen figure. As his father has moved to improve relations with the United States after decades of hostility, however, his son has been right by his side.