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Cuba and the United States reestablish full diplomatic relations, ending a 54-year stretch of hostility between the nations

20/07/2015

The Cuban thaw was a warming of Cuba–United States relations that began in December 2014 ending a 54-year stretch of hostility between the nations. In March 2016, Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to visit Cuba since 1928.

On December 17, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced the beginning of a process of normalizing relations between Cuba and the United States. The normalization agreement was secretly negotiated in preceding months, facilitated by Pope Francis and largely hosted by the Government of Canada. Meetings were held in both Canada and Vatican City. The agreement would see the lifting of some U.S. travel restrictions, fewer restrictions on remittances, U.S. banks' access to the Cuban financial system, and the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, which both closed in 1961 after the breakup of diplomatic relations as a result of Cuba's close alliance with the USSR.

On April 14, 2015, the Obama administration announced that Cuba would be removed from the United States State Sponsors of Terrorism list. With no congressional action to block this within the permitted time period, Cuba was officially removed from the list on May 29, 2015. This marked a further departure by the United States from the Cold War conflict and its strain on Cuba–United States relations. On July 20, 2015, the Cuban and U.S. "interests sections" in Washington and Havana were upgraded to embassies.

On June 16, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that he was "cancelling" the Obama administration's deals with Cuba, while also expressing that a new deal could be negotiated between the Cuban and United States governments.

On November 8, 2017, it was announced business and travel restrictions which were loosened by the Obama administration would resume and would go into effect on November 9.

President Obama meets with President Castro in Panama.

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Published in 20/05/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

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