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story.lead_photo.caption President Barack Obama announces the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba at the White House, promising “a new chapter” with the island nation. - Photo by AP / DOUG MILLS

The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century after the release of an American contractor held in prison for five years, President Barack Obama announced Wednesday.

Alan Gross and his wife, Judy, get ready to leave Cuba on Wednesday in the above photo posted on the Twitter account of U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. The U.S. government satellite telephone contractor had been held in a Cuban prison for five years after his arrest in 2009.
“I intend to use every tool at our disposal in the majority to unravel as many of these changes as possible,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a son of Cuban immigrants, said Wednesday about President Barack Obama’s move to normalize relations with Cuba.
Photo by AP
Cuban President Raul Castro greets President Barack Obama during a memorial service Dec. 10, 2013, for South African leader Nelson Mandela. In an address to his nation Wednesday, Castro said “President Obama’s decision deserves the respect and acknowledgment of our people.”

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Print Headline: U.S. to mend ties with Cuba


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    December 18, 2014 at 9:39 a.m.

    After Many Years, Finally Sanity is taking root. America needs to proceed with the Proceedings as soon as Utterly possible. Many productive years with Cuba have been wasted with nothing gained by either Country. America needs to reestablish trade with Cuba and get back to Normal Relations. I am happy to see after so many years some moves in that direction. America needs more friends not more Enemies, We have more enemies than we need already. Great Move Forward by Both Countries.

  • DontDrinkDatKoolAid
    December 18, 2014 at 9:46 a.m.

    Those poor Cubans. Obama just made Castro's Police State stronger and more repressive.

  • Slak
    December 18, 2014 at 10:01 a.m.


  • Martipowell
    December 18, 2014 at 10:58 a.m.

    Changes bring more changes and hopefully it will be for the good of the people of Cuba because it has been bad for them for a long time now!

  • Delta2
    December 18, 2014 at 11:07 a.m.

    Well, we do need easier access to good cigars.