Eyebrows went up everywhere on Tuesday (Jan. 20) when a Russian intelligence ship docked in Havana on the eve of the diplomatic talks between Cuba and the United States. Its arrival had not been previously announced by either the Cuban or the Russian government.
Starting on March 1, MasterCard credit and debit cards issued in the United States may be used in Cuba, ending one aspect of the blockade on financial transactions imposed by the US Treasury Department.
Roberta Jacobson and Josefina Vidal, diplomats from the United States and Cuba, respectively, decided to begin talks a day earlier than planned. After more than fifty years of confrontation, they decided to have dinner together at a private residence.
The Cuban delegation said today that the issue of human rights was addressed during talks with the United States to restore diplomatic relations.
The governments of Cuba and the United States will meet again in the coming weeks to continue working on details for resuming diplomatic relations, the negotiators said today after a first round of talks in Havana.
After a seven-year legal battle, the diary of a prisoner held at Guantánamo Bay has just been published and has become a surprise best-seller. Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s diary details his experience with rendition, torture and being imprisoned without charge.
Cuba lowered the price of gasoline and diesel to consumers this week for the first time since the tailspin of oil prices on the world market in recent months. The regular gasoline price dropped from 1.20 CUC to 1.10 CUC a liter.
Today’s talks focused on migration issues, an area in which both the US and Cuba brought out their differences despite the current political thaw. High-ranking delegations from both countries met today at the Havana Convention Center for the start of a two-day dialogue that seeks to draw up a roadmap for the restoration of diplomatic relations, broken off by the US in 1961.
The chair of the Caribbean Professional Baseball Federation, Dominican-born Juan Puello Herrera, made official today that a Cuban team may participate in the Caribbean Professional Baseball Series to be held in Puerto Rico next month.
There are unusual images to be seen these days in Havana. US flags flying on balconies in the heart of the Cuban capital, for example, or the arrival of many US visitors and journalists to cover a historic negotiation between the governments of Washington and Havana that opens today.