HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba accepted a proposal by the European Union to open negotiations on a new political accord, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told a news conference in Havana on Thursday.
On February 10, the EU agreed to begin negotiations with Cuba to increase trade, investment and dialogue on human rights in its most significant diplomatic shift since Brussels lifted sanctions on the communist-ruled country in 2008.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Politically motivated arrests in Cuba topped 1,000 for a third straight month in February as the result of wider public demonstrations against the one-party state, a leading human rights organization said on Monday.
The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation said arrests in the past three months have nearly doubled from the monthly averages of the previous two years.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuban President Raul Castro and top leaders of the Cuban government and Communist Party greeted a Cuban intelligence agent with a hero’s welcome upon his return to Havana on Friday, a day after his release from a U.S. prison.
Fernando Gonzalez, 50, had served more than 15 years for spying on Cuban-American exile groups in Miami and is one of the “Cuban Five” whose detentions have complicated the already tense relations between the United States and Cuba.
HAVANA, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Cuba’s annual cigar festival is
telling the world’s cigar-smokers it is perfectly fine to enjoy
a Havana with a beer or a vodka or a cocktail.
The cigar’s exclusive image has long been built on the
tradition of the after-dinner smoke accompanied by a brandy or a
cognac or a whiskey.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba hopes the opening of negotiations on a new political agreement with the European Union could lead to similar talks with the United States, a visiting EU commissioner said Cuba’s foreign minister told her on Thursday.
EU Education Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said she, too, hoped the launching of an EU-Cuba dialogue would lead to better relations between Cuba and the United States, which severed diplomatic ties with the communist island in 1961 and imposed an economic embargo a year later.
MIAMI/HAVANA (Reuters) – U.S. relations with Cuba are at their best in almost two decades, but President Barack Obama seems unwilling or unable to confront a well-organized anti-Cuba lobby and push for further progress.
Obama suggested change was coming at a Miami fundraiser in November, saying “we have to be creative, and we have to be thoughtful, and we have to continue to update our policies” on Cuba, and yet he has withheld using his executive power since last easing Cuban travel restrictions in January 2011.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba returns to the Caribbean Series of baseball for the first time in 54 years this weekend at a time of time of high interest in Cuban talent after some of its best players defected in recent years in search of multimillion-dollar contracts.
The Cuban team Villa Clara, reinforced with some of the best players from other teams in the Cuban league, will compete on the Venezuelan island of Margarita starting on Saturday against winter league champions from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico in the annual tournament.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuban President Raul Castro challenged Latin American and Caribbean leaders to improve healthcare and education, telling a regional summit on Tuesday they have the natural resources to eradicate poverty but may lack the political will.
The speech also listed a series of Latin American grievances that directly or indirectly involve the United States, attempting to unify the 33 countries at the summit against their neighbor to the north, which was not invited.
HAVANA, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Cuban President Raul Castro
challenged Latin American and Caribbean leaders on Tuesday to
improve health care and education, telling a regional summit
they have the natural resources to eradicate poverty but may
lack the political will.
The speech also listed a series of Latin American grievances
that directly or indirectly involve the United States,
attempting to unify the 33 countries at the summit against their
neighbor to the north, which was not invited.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Latin American and Caribbean leaders converge on Cuba this week to discuss trade, peace and human rights in a further sign of regional eagerness to challenge the dominance of the United States.
The two-day summit is expected to take up issues such as Colombian peace talks, lingering poverty in Haiti and human rights. Thirty-three countries from the region will participate, notably without the United States and Canada, which are not invited.