HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba and the United States on Friday set an agenda for improving relations, putting a priority on more easily attainable agreements while leaving aside difficult issues such as the U.S. trade embargo and naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba said.
Officials from both countries met in Havana for the first time since the two former Cold War enemies re-established diplomatic relations in July following a 54-year break and reopened embassies in each other’s capitals in July and August.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba said on Friday it would pardon and release 3,522 prisoners on the occasion of the Sept. 19-22 visit by Pope Francis, repeating similar actions it took ahead of two previous papal visits.
There was no immediate indication whether those to be pardoned included people considered political prisoners by dissidents or human rights organizations.
HAVANA (Reuters) – The European Union and Cuba entered the most difficult phase of their bilateral talks on Thursday when they started to discuss a new political agreement to replace a unilateral policy imposed by the Europeans 19 years ago.
The two sides have met five times over the past year-and-a-half in search of a far-reaching accord. Both sides reported on Thursday that two of the three pillars of a deal, on trade and cooperation, were basically finished, and they started talking about a political agreement between the 28-nation bloc and the communist-run Caribbean island.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cardinal Jaime Ortega rose from labor camp inmate in the 1960s to become one of Cuba’s leading political figures, leveraging a non-confrontational style into a rare position of influence for someone outside the Communist Party.
With Pope Francis visiting Cuba next week, Ortega’s role in boosting the power of the Roman Catholic Church on the island has drawn both praise and scorn.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Josefina Vidal receives a check from the United States for $4,085 once a year, rent money for the U.S. naval base at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay.
But Cuba’s government refuses to cash the checks, made out to a non-existent Treasurer, because it sees the U.S. occupation of Guantanamo as illegal.
HAVANA, Aug 14 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry called for political change in Cuba on Friday, telling
Cubans they should be free to choose their own leaders, as he
watched the U.S. flag fly at the American embassy in Havana for
the first time in 54 years.
Leading a ceremony to mark the restoration of diplomatic
relations between the Cold War adversaries, Kerry declared a new
era in U.S.-Cuban relations but pressed the Communist government
on democracy and human rights.
HAVANA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declared a new era in relations as he celebrated restored diplomatic ties in Havana on Friday, but he also urged political change in Cuba, telling Cubans they should be free to choose their own leaders.
The first U.S. secretary of state to visit the Caribbean island in 70 years, Kerry presided over a ceremony to raise the U.S. flag over the newly reopened American embassy.
HAVANA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cuba on Friday to raise the U.S. flag at the recently restored American Embassy in Havana, another symbolic step in improved relations between the two Cold War-era foes.
The ceremony, raising the flag over the building for the first time in 54 years, will come nearly four weeks after the United States and Cuba formally renewed diplomatic relations and upgraded their diplomatic missions to embassies.
HAVANA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Cuba on Friday to raise the U.S. flag at the recently restored American embassy in Havana, another symbolic step in the thawing of relations between the two Cold War-era foes.
The ceremony, raising the flag over the building for the first time in 54 years, comes nearly four weeks after the United States and Cuba formally renewed diplomatic relations and upgraded their diplomatic missions to embassies.
HAVANA (Reuters) – The seven-story building on Havana’s famed “Malecon” seafront has for decades been a flashpoint in the Cold War’s most enduring rivalry.
Spy games and dirty tricks have been directed by and against the U.S. officials working inside the beige structure, which is nondescript architecturally but among the most famous in Havana.