Quantcast
Connect with us

US moves to normalize relations with Cuba in most dramatic policy shift in 50 years

Published

on

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro (AFP)

The United States and Cuba are moving to normalize diplomatic relations more than 50 years after they were severed in a historic shift in policy, President Barack Obama was set to announce on Wednesday.

Senior U.S officials, previewing Obama’s 12 p.m. ET announcement, said the United States and Cuba will move to open embassies in each other’s capitals. Obama spoke on Tuesday to Cuban President Raul Castro to discuss the changes in a call that lasted nearly an hour.

ADVERTISEMENT

The shift will mean a relaxation in the flow of commerce and transportation by the United States to Cuba, the officials said.

As part of a prisoner swap under the new policy, Cuba freed American Alan Gross in exchange for three Cubans held by the United States, the officials said. Cuba is also releasing a U.S. intelligence agent held for nearly 20 years.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will review Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

“These steps will be the most significant changes to our Cuba policy in more than 50 years,” a senior administration official told reporters. “What we are doing is beginning the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba.”

The official said the United States and Cuba will be intitiating high-level contacts and visits with Cuba.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We will be immediately initiating discussions with Cuba to reestablish diplomatic relations that have been severed since 1961,” the official said.

One official said the policy was being changed because of a belief within the Obama administration that the longstanding U.S. embargo against Cuba was not working.

“If there is any U.S. foreign policy that has passed its expiration date, it is the U.s. Cuba policy,” the official said.

ADVERTISEMENT

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump-Biden race could hinge on how this one Florida county swings

Published

on

Betty Jones voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, but the lifelong Republican has her doubts she will do it again this year.

The federal response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed about 200,000 Americans and forced older adults to restrict their activities has her contemplating a leadership change.

It “makes me unsure,” said Jones, 78, of Largo, in Pinellas County, Florida. Before COVID-19, she said, she would have definitely voted for Trump.

Polls show that many people will have the pandemic and its public health and economic consequences on their minds when they cast their votes — whether by mail or in person — this fall. Early in-person voting starts Oct. 19 in most Florida counties, including Pinellas.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Cindy McCain crosses party lines to endorse Joe Biden

Published

on

The widow of late U.S. Sen. John McCain plans to endorse Joe Biden on Wednesday, giving the former vice president another boost from a prominent Republican.Biden leaked Cindy McCain’s political plans during a fundraising call Tuesday evening.“Maybe I shouldn’t say it,” Biden told campaign donors, “but I’m about to go on one of these Zooms with John McCain’s wife, who is first time ever, is endorsing me.”The last straw for McCain was a report from The Atlantic saying Trump told staff that American soldiers killed in combat were “suckers” and “losers,” according to Biden.“Because of what he talk... (more…)

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

‘They’ll get away with it’: Strategist explains how GOP federal judges will help Trump steal election

Published

on

President Donald Trump will remain in power if he narrowly loses the 2020 presidential election, with conservative judges poised to help him "steal" the election, a longtime Democratic Party strategist warned on Tuesday.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed James Carville about the Supreme Court vacancy and how it could impact any legal wrangling about counting the votes.

"James, that's a pretty neat trick, the president is gaslighting out in advance voter fraud that he is promoting, ergo the need for nine justices on the court, which doesn't exist in law. The court has functioned just fine with eight during times of a death or a recusal," Williams noted. "Be that as it may, if Trump fills this seat before the election, in your view, how does that change the dynamic of the election?"

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE