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  • For US and Cuba, normalcy will take many steps Friday, 19 Dec 2014 | 3:30 AM ET

    That's about to become clear as the Obama administration and the communist government of Raul Castro move to normalize more than a half-century of bitter animosity between the United States and Cuba. While international relations can be subject to laws passed by Congress, the White House enjoys broad discretion in diplomatic recognition.

  • Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 5:56 PM ET

    HAVANA— The restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the United States unleashed expectations Thursday of even more momentous changes on an island that often seems frozen in a past of classic cars and crumbling Art Deco buildings. Some fear a cultural onslaught, or that crime and drugs, both rare in Cuba, will become common along with visitors from the...

  • HAVANA, Dec 18- From bus drivers to bartenders and ballet dancers, many Cubans are already imagining a more prosperous future after the United States said it will put an end to 50 years of conflict with the communist-run island. Old Havana is a center of Cuba's tourism industry and boasts fine colonial buildings, some exquisitely restored but others in disrepair.

  • Cubans hope for better future with US-Havana deal Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:02 AM ET

    HAVANA— Cubans cheered the surprise announcement that their country will restore relations with the United States, hopeful they'll soon see expanded trade and new economic vibrancy even though the 53- year-old economic embargo remains in place for the time being. Bells tolled in celebration and teachers halted lessons midday as President Raul Castro told...

  • UPDATE 2-Obama has power to further weaken Cuba sanctions Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 8:15 PM ET

    With Republicans due to take control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate in January, the chance of lawmakers scrapping all sanctions on Cuba soon is almost zero. The sanctions on Cuba are tighter than those against other U.S. adversaries such as Iran and Russia although America sends food and medicine to Cuba. A president can loosen trade bans...

  • BRASILIA, Dec 17- Latin American leaders who for years have pressured the United States to drop its economic embargo against Cuba praised President Barack Obama for moving on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations with its communist-run Cold War foe. U.S. policy toward Cuba has soured its reputation across much of Latin America, especially in recent years...

  • HAVANA/ WASHINGTON, Dec 17- President Barack Obama announced the United States would restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, drawing resistance from lawmakers opposed to reconciling with the communist-run island. Obama said the moves were made possible by Havana's release of American Alan Gross, 65, who had been imprisoned...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 17- The renewal of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba could be the start of a long thaw in decades of animosity but the path is full of obstacles, not least the U.S. sanctions on the Communist-run island. Only Congress can overturn the law, and with Republicans due to take control of both the House of Representatives and the...

  • Analysis: 53 years on, time right for US, Cuba Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 2:21 PM ET

    MEXICO CITY— After 53 years of hostility between the United States and Cuba, the timing to make amends was perfect for both governments. The surprise moves come as President Barack Obama is turning his attention to legacy issues, and Raul Castro is trying to boost his nation's economic fortunes in the face of stalled reforms and falling oil prices that have hit...

  • Announcing the end of what he called a "rigid" policy of isolation of Cuba that had been ineffective, Obama said the United States would move toward normal ties and would open an embassy in Cuba. Castro spoke in Cuba as Obama made his announcement on a policy shift made possible by the release of American Alan Gross, 65, who had been imprisoned in Cuba for five years.

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 17- The renewal of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba could be the start of a long thaw in decades of animosity but the path is full of obstacles, not least the U.S. sanctions on the Communist-run island. Only Congress can overturn the law, and with Republicans due to take control of both the House of Representatives and the...

  • Announcing the end of what he called a "rigid" policy of isolation of Cuba that had been ineffective, Obama said the United States planned to move toward normal ties and would open an embassy in Cuba. Castro spoke in Cuba as Obama made his announcement on a policy shift made possible by the release of American Alan Gross, 65, who had been imprisoned in Cuba for five...

  • Cubans cheer historic renewal of US relations Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:13 PM ET

    HAVANA— Bells tolled in celebration and teachers halted lessons midday as President Raul Castro told his country Wednesday that Cuba was restoring relations with the United States after more than a half-century of hostility. President Barack Obama in Washington. Guillermo Delgado, a 72- year-old retiree, welcomed the announcement as "a victory for Cuba...

  • HAVANA/ WASHINGTON, Dec 17- President Barack Obama was set to announce that the United States and Cuba are moving to normalize diplomatic relations more than 50 years after they were severed, the biggest U.S. policy shift in decades of hostile ties with the island. Previewing his announcement, U.S. officials said the United States and Cuba would move to open...

  • Inside Cuba: Photos from Havana Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 10:31 AM ET

    The US government is opening up to Cuba. Here are pictures of life in Havana, and what changes the country has been undergoing.

  • President Barack Obama was set to announce a shift in policy toward Cuba on Wednesday and the Associated Press reported the changes would include the opening of an embassy in Cuba and the start of talks to normalize relations. The shift in policy, which could be one of the biggest changes in decades of animosity between communist-ruled Cuba and the United...

  • US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 8:56 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— After a half-century of Cold War acrimony, the United States and Cuba moved on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations— a historic shift that could revitalize the flow of money and people across the narrow waters that separate the two nations. President Barack Obama's dramatic announcement in Washington— seconded by Cuban President Raul...

  • ALBA countries gather in Cuba on 10th anniversary Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 | 11:54 AM ET

    HAVANA— The left-leaning regional economic and diplomatic bloc known as ALBA marked its 10th anniversary Sunday amid pressures made by tumbling oil prices on petroleum-producing countries such as top ALBA member Venezuela. Presidents Nicolas Maduro, of Venezuela; Daniel Ortega, of Nicaragua; and Evo Morales, of Bolivia joined Raul Castro, of Cuba for the...

  • EU-Cuba talks delayed by dispute over cultural event Tuesday, 9 Dec 2014 | 10:00 AM ET

    BRUSSELS/ HAVANA, Dec 9- Cuba has delayed negotiations towards an accord with the European Union aimed at opening up the Communist-ruled island, citing a dispute over an EU cultural event in Washington, people close to the matter said on Tuesday. The third round of talks, due to take place on Jan. 8-9 in Havana, was scheduled to discuss human rights, always a sensitive...

  • New comedy wave tests limits on criticism in Cuba Tuesday, 9 Dec 2014 | 12:01 AM ET

    HAVANA— Panfilo, the elderly protagonist in a weekly show on Cuban state television, has a broken water pipe in his house. Comedian Luis Silva plays Panfilo, a senior citizen at the center of a circle of friends and family on the Monday night show "Vivir del cuento," which roughly translates to "Surviving By Your Wits." Fans pack clubs and theaters in Havana and other...