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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:51 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Russian spy ship in Havana on eve of US-Cuba talks
January 22, 2015  -  Havana
A Russian intelligence warship docked in Havana on Tuesday, a day before the start of historic US-Cuba talks aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations.

There was nothing stealthy about the arrival of the Viktor Leonov CCB-175, which was moored to a pier in Old Havana where cruise ships often dock. But the visit was not officially announced by Cuban authorities.

US officials in Washington played down the presence of the Russian vessel, saying it was perfectly legal and not at all out of the ordinary.
"It's not unprecedented. It's not unusual. It's not alarming," a defense official told AFP.

The Vishnya or Meridian-class intelligence ship, which has a crew of around 200, went into service in the Black Sea in 1988 before it was transferred seven years later to the northern fleet, according to Russian media.

The vessel previously docked in Havana in February and March last year, staying there for a few days. Those visits were also unannounced.

The highest-level US delegation to visit Havana since 1980 arrives Wednesday for two days of talks aimed at normalizing diplomatic and immigration relations between the former Cold War foes.
The former Soviet Union was Cuba's main patron during the Cold War.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erdogan wants a mosque in Havana Cuba
February 13, 2015  
-  Last November, Erdogan said Muslims had reached the Americas in the 12th century, before  Columbus. lol
Erdogan has proposed the construction of a mosque in Cuba.
Erdogan said the Cuban government had agreed with Saudi Arabia on a similar project.

Erdogan's assertion that Muslims reached pre-Columbian Americas was based on a reference to a mosque-like formation at the top of a mountain in Columbus' diary of his voyages. He told the conference in November "a mosque today would suit the top of that mountain."
Most scholars believe that reference was to a natural mountain feature rather than an actual mosque.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

U.S., Cuba say progress made in talks; no date for diplomatic ties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cuban and U.S. officials held a second round of talks on Friday toward normalizing ties and both sides said they made good progress, although they did not set a date for renewal of diplomatic relations that Washington severed 54 years ago.

Going into the talks, Communist-ruled Cuba pushed to be removed from a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. But Washington said that while it was reviewing Cuba's place on the list, the designation should not be linked to the negotiations on renewing relations and opening embassies.

The head of Cuba's delegation to the talks, Josefina Vidal, said removal from the terrorism list was not a pre-condition for renewal of diplomatic ties, but she added that it was a "very important issue" and a priority for Cuba.

The talks in Washington stemmed from the historic decision announced by the two Cold War era foes last December to work to normalize relations, including opening embassies in each other's countries, and to exchange prisoners.

"We have made progress," Vidal, chief of the Cuban foreign ministry's U.S. division, told reporters after the discussions, which followed a first round of talks in Havana last month.

She said there was no date yet for the next meeting on the renewal of ties, but the two sides were going to maintain contact and she was optimistic there would be more advances in coming weeks on the issue of the terrorism list.

Havana says U.S. sanctions on banks that do business with designated countries on the list impede it from conducting diplomatic affairs in the United States. The two countries, politically at odds since soon after Cuba's revolution in 1959, currently do business via interests sections in each other's capitals.

The United States is hoping to reach agreement on reopening embassies in time for an April 10-11 regional summit in Panama, where U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro could meet for the first time since announcing their joint agreement on Dec. 17.

The head of the U.S. delegation at the talks, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, told reporters in reply to a question: "I do think we can get this done in time for the Summit of the Americas."


Jacobson called Friday's talks "productive and encouraging." She noted that Cuba and the United States would hold a series of exchanges in coming weeks on issues including the United States working with Cuba on increasing its capacity for Internet connectivity.

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said re-establishing diplomatic relations was a technical process involving a set of "fairly normal" negotiations, while the terrorism sponsorship designation was a separate process and "not a negotiation.

"It is an evaluation that is made under a very strict set of requirements, congressionally mandated, and that has to be pursued separately, and it is being pursued separately," Kerry told reporters. He added that "nothing will be done with respect to the list until the evaluation is completed.”

The Obama administration is nearing completion of its review of Cuba's place on the list, which must be submitted to Congress before Cuba's name can be removed, a senior State Department official told reporters on Wednesday.

Cuba was added to the terrorism sponsors list in 1982, when it aided Marxist insurgencies during the Cold War. But it is currently aiding a peace process with Colombia's left-wing FARC guerrillas.

Following December's announcement, the Obama administration lifted a series of limitations on trade and travel last month and the U.S. president, a Democrat, called for an end to the decades-old economic embargo on Cuba. The embargo would have to be lifted by the Republican-controlled Congress, overcoming resistance from some members fiercely opposed to the rapprochement.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

USA re-establishes phone link with Cuba
March 12, 2015
-  United States and Cuba re-establish a direct telephone link for the first time since 1999.
Calls can now be made directly from the United States to Cuba and vice versa, without passing through a third country.  Around two million Cuban-Americans live in the United States.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When Kerry met Cuba
April 10, 2015
-  US and Cuba hold highest-level meeting in over 50 years.
US SoS John Kerry and Cuban FM Bruno Rodriguez held talks in Panama.
US state department recommended Cuba be removed from its list of states who sponsor terrorism.  The two countries could re-open embassies.
Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro are due to meet in Panama shortly.

I'd say the USA 0bama govt sponsors terrorism!

Christianity in CUBA
April 12, 2015
-  A shipment of 83,723 Spanish-language Bibles are headed for Cuba and will be distributed to Baptist churches in Cuba to keep up with growth of Christianity.  IMB is distributing them this week to various churches throughout Cuba.  Since the Cuban government amended its Constitution in 1992, declaring it a secular instead of an atheist state, religious activities have been given room to grow and flourish.

Last edited by CJ on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Florida-Cuba ferry service
May 6, 2015
-  Passenger ferries may run between Florida and Cuba for the first time in 50 years after the US government approved new services.  Washington announced the restoration of diplomatic ties in 2014 December, and has now lifted the ban and some ferry companies say they have been given licences.

If all goes smoothly this could be up and running by September.
Havana Ferry Partners of Fort Lauderdale, Florida said it had a licence.
Ferries will also be allowed to transport cargo to Cuba.
JetBlue announced new charter flight service from New York City.
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raul Castro thanks Pope Francis for brokering Cuba-US deal

Cuban President Raul Castro has praised Pope Francis for brokering the restoration of relations between Cuba and the US, announced in December.
At the end of an audience at the Vatican, Mr Castro said he had thanked the Pope for his contribution for the historic rapprochement.

Secret negotiations to put an end to more than five decades of hostilities were carried out inside the Vatican.

The Pope will visit Cuba on his way to the US in September.

"I am very happy. I have come here to thank him for what he has done to begin solving the problems of the United States and Cuba," said Mr Castro.

The communist leader had stopped at the Vatican after attending Russia's World War Two Victory Day in Moscow.

After the audience with the Pope, Mr Castro said he was so impressed by a Vatican audience with Pope Francis that he might return to the faith he was born into.

Mr Castro praised the pontiff's wisdom, adding: "I will resume praying and turn to the Church again if the Pope continues in this vein."

The Catholic Church has maintained ties with Havana since the 1959 revolution.

The fact that the man who helped lead the Cuban Revolution would even joke about returning to the Catholic Church shows just how far the relationship between Havana and the Vatican has moved forward recently.

That has been particularly true under Pope Francis. First, the Pontiff played a crucial role in smoothing the path to negotiations between Cuba and the US over the past 18 months. Furthermore, he has given his blessing to the process and to the Cuban government by arranging to come to Cuba in September before his visit to the US.

As a Latin American himself, Pope Francis has always been able to maintain good ties with Latin American leaders from both the left and the right. He has repeatedly called for the US trade embargo on Cuba to be lifted, for example.

Now he has hosted, and seemingly wooed, Raul Castro in Rome strengthening the ties even further. Hardly surprising Mr Castro is considering returning to Mass!

But the state-run newspaper Granma omitted Mr Castro's comments about returning to the Church when it reported the meeting on its website. A reflection, perhaps, of how surprising it is for Cubans to hear Mr Castro make such comments, whether tongue-in-cheek or not.

For Pope Francis, the restoration of relations between the US and Cuba has been a major diplomatic achievement, says the BBC's David Willey in Rome.

The US had imposed a trade embargo after Cuba's revolution, which it began to lift late last year.

After the 50-minute private audience on Sunday, Mr Castro told reporters: "The pontiff is a Jesuit, and I, in some way, am too. I studied at Jesuit schools."

After suggesting he might turn again to the Church, he added: "I mean what I say."

Both Mr Castro and his brother, revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, were baptised as Roman Catholics, but most Church activities were suppressed after the revolution.

Francis will be the third Pope to travel to Cuba, following visits there by John Paul II in 1998 and Benedict XVI in 2012.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

USA - Cuba embassies
July 1, 2015
-  The US and Cuba will open embassies in each other's capitals.

US and Cuba restore commercial flights
Dec 17, 2015
 -  The United States and Cuba have reached an understanding on restoring regularly scheduled commercial flights.  US airlines can begin flying to Cuba within months.  Cuba could allow a dozen flights from the US per day.  Sure dont look rosey!

Last edited by CJ on Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked    Hellfire in Cuba!?
Jan 8, 2016
 -  0bama's gift.  Missing U.S. missile shows up in Cuba
The inert Hellfire missile was sent to Europe for a training exercise, but showing up in Cuba sparks concerns over loss of military technology.  It was wrongly shipped from Europe to Cuba in 2014.  

Hellfires are air-to-ground missiles, often fired from helicopters.
U.S. officials worry that Cuba could share the sensors and targeting technology inside it with nations like China, North Korea or Russia.
The Cuban government refuses to return the missile.
Didn’t we ‘accidentally’ drop weapons to ISIS? -  Yes, in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Remember the drone that Iran ‘captured’ intact?
Once is accident, twice is coincidence, thrice is enemy action.
Obama is deliberately arming our enemies

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