The front page of today's edition of Cuban state-owned daily Granma published in full the letters exchanged by Cuban President Raul Castro and US President Barack Obama announcing the formal re-establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The letters set a date for the re-opening of embassies in Havana and Washington, D.C. on July 20.

The announcement is a significant step forward in improving the ties between the historic foes, a process first made public in December. Havana and Washington ended diplomatic relations in 1961, two years after a communist revolution led by Fidel Castro took power in the island nation.

Obama and Raul Castro met for the first time in April at a regional summit in Panama, and some restrictions between the two countries have since been eased, allowing several US companies to open operations in Cuba.

But in his letter, Castro made clear that lifting the economic embargo is "essential to normalize relations". The embargo can only be repealed by the U.S. Congress, where a majority of lawmakers is opposed to its removal.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: Granma is the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, owned by the government. It was created in 1965 and is published in Havana.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Ingrid Betancourt, A Hostage Heroine Reinvented As Feminist For President

Although Betancourt is best known for surviving six years as a hostage of the Colombian terror group FARC, and is considered a centrist politician, her unlikely new campaign for president will be centered on gender issues.

Betancourt in Bogota announcing her candidacy Tuesday

Chepa Beltran/LongVisual via ZUMA
Felipe García Altamar

-Analysis-

BOGOTA — Exactly 20 years after she was kidnapped by the FARC terror group in the middle of her campaign for Colombian president, Íngrid Betancourt is launching a new campaign to lead her nation. She will do so on behalf of her party, Verde Oxígeno, becoming the only female candidate from the Centro Esperanza Coalition (CCE), which for months received a barrage of criticism for grouping only male candidacies and traditional politicians.

Keep reading... Show less
Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS
MOST READ