December 17, 2014 U.S.-Cuba relations, tense for half a century, are about to fundamentally change.
Alan Gross, the American contractor who has been imprisoned in Cuba since 2009, will be released to the United States by the Cuban government, the White House announced Wednesday. The so-called “humanitarian release” will coincide with an exchange of three Cubans convicted of espionage in Miami for one unnamed U.S. intelligence asset.
The announcement of Gross’ release comes with much broader-reaching news: the U.S. is preparing a shift in its relationship with Cuba and is set to begin talks to normalize diplomatic relations. President Obama spoke on Gross’ release and the change in the diplomatic relationship at noon. Cuban President Raul Castro spoke at the same time separately.
The U.S., which has had a tight trade embargo on Cuba since 1961, is now set to announce a loosening of economic and travel restrictions. The Obama…
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