WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told Congress on Tuesday that he plans to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, clearing away the main obstacle to restoring diplomatic relations and reopening embassies after more than half a century of enmity.
Obama’s decision comes on the heels of a Western Hemisphere summit in Panama where Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro sat down on Saturday for the first meeting of its kind between U.S. and Cuban leaders in nearly 60 years.
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – Cuba and the United States just made history. Now comes the hard part.
In the first meeting of its kind in nearly 60 years, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro sat down together for over an hour on Saturday at a regional summit in Panama, moving a step closer to restoring diplomatic ties.
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama met Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday in the highest-level talks between the two countries in nearly 60 years, and the two men agreed to push ahead on improving relations after decades of hostility.
Describing their private meeting as “historic,” Obama said the two countries can end the antagonism of the Cold War era, although he said he would continue to pressure the communist-led country on democracy and human rights.
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – President Barack Obama challenged Latin American leaders on Saturday to improve human rights and democracy even as he works to end decades of hostility between the United States and communist-run Cuba.
Obama has won praise across much of Latin America for seeking to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba and he shook President Raul Castro’s hand in a show of the detente on Friday night, but he took a tougher line on Saturday in a speech at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – As Latin American leaders applaud a historic thawing of animosity between the United States and Cuba, U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Raul Castro for talks on Saturday that could further boost his reputation in the region.
Obama and the Cuban president shook hands and spoke briefly at the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Americas on Friday night, a gesture that drew praise from other leaders who have in recent years called for changes in U.S. policy on Cuba.
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shook hands on Friday at a summit in Panama, a symbolically charged gesture as the pair seek to restore ties between the Cold War foes.
A photograph showed Obama and Castro, both wearing dark suits, chatting in a small group of leaders at the summit’s opening ceremony. A White House official confirmed the two men shook hands and spoke briefly.
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro will share the same stage on Friday in an encounter rich with symbolism as their countries set aside decades of mistrust and attempt to restore diplomatic relations.
The rapprochement is set to dominate the Summit of the Americas meeting, held in Panama, less than four months after they announced they would seek to lower tensions and boost trade and travel between the two Cold War enemies.
PANAMA CITY, PANAMA (Reuters) – The U.S. and Cuban foreign ministers met in Panama on Thursday, a U.S. official said, in the highest-level meeting between the two sides since the earliest days of the Cuban revolution more than half a century ago.
The discussions between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez marked the first time the two nations’ chief diplomats have met since a historic opening by President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, that was announced on Dec. 17 last year.
KINGSTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said Washington is concerned China is using its “sheer size and muscle” to push around smaller nations in the South China Sea, just hours after Beijing gave a detailed defense of its creation of artificial islands in the contested waterway.
China’s rapid reclamation around seven reefs in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea has alarmed other claimants, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, and drawn growing criticism from U.S. government officials and the military.
WASHINGTON/KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department has recommended that President Barack Obama remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee aide said on Thursday.
Obama, speaking while on a short visit to Jamaica, said only that the State Department had completed its review but that he was waiting for a recommendation from his advisers and would not announce a decision on Thursday.