HAVANA (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday condemned what it called Cuba’s practice of repression following the detention of several activists, in the first major test of President Barack Obama’s policy shift toward normalizing relations with the communist-ruled island.
The State Department said it was deeply concerned by the detention on Tuesday of several “peaceful civil society members and activists” by the Cuban authorities.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuban police detained several dissidents on Tuesday and thwarted an unauthorized political protest, dissidents said, in the first major test of U.S. President Barack Obama’s policy shift toward normalizing relations with the communist-ruled island.
The U.S. State Department condemned the detentions, which marked the most significant crackdown on the opposition since Cuba and the United States agreed on Dec. 17 to restore diplomatic ties and put behind more than five decades of hostility.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuban police detained at least four political opponents on Tuesday, including the husband of prominent blogger Yoani Sanchez, hours before a performance artist planned to stage an unauthorized open microphone event, dissidents said.
They would be the highest profile detentions since Cuba and the United States agreed on Dec. 17 to normalize diplomatic relations and put behind more than five decades of hostility.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba’s most prominent dissidents say they have been kept in the dark by U.S. officials over a list of 53 political prisoners who will be released from jail as part of a deal to end decades of hostility between the United States and Cuba.
For years, dissident leaders have told the United States which opponents of Cuba’s communist government were being jailed or harassed, but they say they were not consulted when the list of prisoners to be freed was drawn up or even told who is on it.
HAVANA, Dec 26 (Reuters) – Luis Abel Bango spent seven years
searching for his dream car, a 1957 Chevy Bel Air. He finally
found it on Cuba’s far western tip, buying it off the original
owner for $7,000.
“I went everywhere looking for what I wanted. Out in the
provinces, central Cuba. I had to go to the end of the island to
find this one,” Bango said.
HAVANA (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s decision to end five decades of enmity with Cuba has shaken the island’s political dissidents, dividing their ranks and forcing them to rethink tactics.
Throughout the Cold War and beyond, the United States relied on the small dissident movement to lead domestic opposition to Cuba’s communist government and keep track of human rights abuses.
HAVANA (Reuters) – The United States helped a Cuban spy imprisoned in California artificially inseminate his wife back in Cuba, a goodwill gesture while Washington and Havana were engaged in secret talks on restoring diplomatic ties, U.S. officials said on Monday.
Now Gerardo Hernandez and his wife, Adriana Perez, are expecting his baby in two weeks, even though he was locked up for 16 years without conjugal visits. It will be a girl called Gema, Cuban official media said.
HAVANA, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Milagros Diaz has been rolling
cigars for 48 years, so long she cannot even smell tobacco
anymore, and she is thrilled that the U.S. market is finally
opening up for her handmade Cuban “habanos”.
Since U.S. President Obama announced on Wednesday he would
restore diplomatic ties with Cuba and start dismantling economic
sanctions, Americans have been filing into the cigar shop at the
Hotel Nacional in Havana, where she hand-rolls cigars using
techniques little changed since the 19th century.
HAVANA, Dec 20 (Reuters) – President Raul Castro demanded on
Saturday that the United States respect Cuba’s communist rule as
the two countries work to restore diplomatic ties, and warned
that Cuban-American exiles might try to sabotage the
U.S. President Barack Obama this week reset Washington’s
Cold War-era policy on Cuba and the two countries swapped
prisoners in a historic deal after 18 months of secret talks.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Stepping out of his legendary brother’s shadow, President Raul Castro has scored a diplomatic triumph and a surge in popular support with the deal that ends decades of open hostility with the United States.
For many Cubans, the restoration of diplomatic relations and President Barack Obama’s promise to dismantle economic sanctions against the communist-run island have raised hopes of a more prosperous future.