Cuba on Friday said new sanctions planned by the United States were a futile attempt to change its policies and would only further isolate Washington internationally.
United States President Barack Obama will make a historic visit to Cuba within the next month, the culmination of his efforts to end a half-century of tensions between Havana and Washington, ABC and CNN reported late Wednesday.
The United States on Friday issued regulations easing restrictions on US companies seeking to do business in Cuba and opening up travel in the latest action to weaken the trade embargo amid warming relations with the Castro brothers regime.
American Airlines which has operated charter flights to Cuba since 1991, said on Tuesday that it plans to begin charter services between Los Angeles and Havana on Dec. 12. But by that time, the U.S. and Cuban governments may be ready to allow scheduled airline flights between the two countries, a practice not allowed for more than a half-century.
The US Treasury Department has approved licenses for passenger ferry service between the United States and Cuba, a Treasury Department official announced. One of the licenses was issued to Baja Ferries, part of a major shipping group with passengers and cargo operations, including on Mexico's west coast, according to a lawyer who handled the license application.
Cuban President Raul Castro demanded on Wednesday that the United States return the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, lift the half-century trade embargo on Cuba and compensate his country for damages before the two nations re-establish normal relations.
By Leonardo Padura Fuentes (*) - All Cubans, on either side of the Florida Straits, but also in places like Spain, France or Greenland – where there must be a couple of Cubans – as well felt it was a historic moment that included each and every one of us, when U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Dec. 17 the normalization of relations after half a century of hostility.
US and Cuban officials launched historic talks to shed their Cold War-era hostility on Wednesday, complimenting each other on the first day's progress despite persistent differences over migration policy.
The United States government on Friday will begin making it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba than it has been for more than half a century, opening the door to a new era of contact between neighbors that have been estranged longer than most of their citizens have been alive.
Cuba has freed some of 53 people the United States regards as political prisoners as agreed under last month's US-Cuban rapprochement and Washington wants to see the rest released soon, the US State Department said on Tuesday.