PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – One of the most influential pro-business lobbyists in Washington said on Wednesday he is optimistic the U.S. Congress might lift the trade embargo against Cuba before the next presidential election in 2016.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donahue, a longtime opponent of the embargo, said Republican opposition to removing Cuba sanctions could be overcome before the next presidential campaign.
HAVANA (Reuters) – In a rare challenge to Cuba’s political system from within, two government opponents are on the ballot for upcoming elections, only to find that officials have altered their biographies to portray them as dangers to the revolution.
Hildebrando Chaviano, 65, and Yuniel Lopez, 26, are running for municipal assembly in Havana on April 19 after winning endorsement from their neighbors in a show-of-hands vote at public meetings last month.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, 88, appeared in public “full of vitality” for the first time in more than a year on Monday, greeting a delegation of Venezuelans, official media reported on Saturday.
It was his first known appearance outside his home since Cuba in December agreed to normalize relations with the United States, Castro’s longtime adversary.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba on Thursday proposed that a pending human rights dialogue with the United States begin on Tuesday in Washington, parallel to ongoing negotiations about restoring diplomatic ties that were severed in 1961.
“These conversations about human rights constitute an example of Cuba’s disposition to approach any topic with the United States, despite our differences,” Pedro Luis Pedroso, a foreign ministry official specializing in international law, told reporters in Havana.
HAVANA (Reuters) – The European Union and Cuba agreed to speed up the pace of talks on improving bilateral relations, hoping to reach the basics of a deal by the end of 2015, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Tuesday.
The EU and Cuba began negotiations in April last year to rewrite their bilateral political agreement, part of a deepening of ties since the 28-nation bloc lifted diplomatic sanctions in 2008.
HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States removed 45 companies and individuals from a Cuba sanctions blacklist on Tuesday, most of them dead people, defunct companies or sunken ships.
Among them was Amado Padron, a Cuban executed by a firing squad 26 years ago along with Arnaldo Ochoa, a decorated army general who was sentenced to death by Cuba’s communist government after he was found to be connected to international drug trafficking.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has declared his intention to play an exhibition game in Cuba in 2016 even though a Cuban baseball official said the two sides had yet to start talks.
The game could set up a rapprochement on the diamond similar to the way the U.S. and Cuban governments have come together at the negotiating table.
HAVANA (Reuters) – The latest talks between Cuba and the United States on restoring diplomatic relations concluded after one day, Cuba said on Tuesday without disclosing what may have been agreed.
Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson met in Havana on Monday with Josefina Vidal, the Cuban foreign ministry’s chief of U.S. affairs, in what had been described as open-ended talks that could last a few days.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba and the United States renewed talks on restoring diplomatic relations on Monday, this time amid secrecy and with the longtime adversaries differing sharply over Venezuela, Cuba’s closest ally.
Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson met in Havana with Josefina Vidal, the Cuban foreign ministry’s chief of U.S. affairs, for the first day of open-ended talks.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba and the United States meet for talks on restoring diplomatic relations on Monday, seeking more progress toward an agreement while not allowing differences over Venezuela to impede their historic rapprochement.
Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson is due to meet in Havana with Josefina Vidal, the Cuban foreign ministry’s chief of U.S. affairs, with talks possibly continuing into Wednesday.