Latest Fidel Castro News

  • Musician Carlos Varela seeks to bridge U.S. and Cuban audiences Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    By Saundra Amrhein TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - Singer-songwriter Carlos Varela, dubbed "The Poet of Havana," has walked a cultural tightrope in Cuba for decades, questioning the island's communist government in his lyrics, while also hitting out at Washington's five-decades-old trade embargo. His songs earned him a following on both sides of the Florida Straits despite their Cold War divide. "The Poet of Havana," by Toronto-based film director Ron Chapman, depicts Varela as a symbol of a generation of Cuban artists born soon after the 1959 revolution who opted to stay in Cuba rather than emigrate. The documentary, which premiered last month at the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa, will be shown in the United States, Cuba and England. More »

  • History now made, U.S. and Cuba face bumpy road ahead
    History now made, U.S. and Cuba face bumpy road ahead Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    In the first meeting of its kind in nearly 60 years, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro sat down together for over an hour on Saturday at a regional summit in Panama, moving a step closer to restoring diplomatic ties. It was the result of nearly two years of secret talks and quiet diplomacy and the mood was positive, both inside the room and out, where Latin American leaders praised Obama for ending decades of U.S. hostility toward the communist-ruled island. Obama clearly sees Cuba as a possible success story for his policy of engaging U.S. foes. More »

  • Obama's Miami connections helped smooth path to meeting with Castro Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    By David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - Barack Obama's historic talks with Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday were the culmination of a long quest by the U.S. president that included meetings with moderate Cuban-Americans frustrated with the hardliners in their own community who refused to engage Havana. A shift in attitudes in the Cuban-American community, most much of which is based in Miami, helped smooth the way to Obama's change in policy, with a younger generation far more amenable to contact with the communist-ruled island. Likely Republican 2016 presidential candidate and Miami resident, Jeb Bush, who is close to conservative Cuban exiles, summed up the negative feelings of hardliners in a tweet: "Why legitimize a cruel dictator of a repressive regime?" A SMOKE BREAK SPARKS AN INTEREST Obama has been taking the temperature of the Cuban-American community for years. More »

  • Obama, Castro hold 'candid' historic meeting in Panama
    Obama, Castro hold 'candid' historic meeting in Panama Sun, Apr 12, 2015

    Barack Obama and Raul Castro held the first face-to-face talks between US and Cuban leaders since 1956 in Panama, vowing to pursue their historic effort to bury Cold War-era enmity. More »

  • Obama meets Raul Castro in highest-level U.S.-Cuba talks in decades
    Obama meets Raul Castro in highest-level U.S.-Cuba talks in decades Sun, Apr 12, 2015

    By Matt Spetalnick and Dave Graham PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama met Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday in the highest-level talks between the two countries in nearly 60 years, and the two men agreed to push ahead on improving relations after decades of hostility. Describing their private meeting as "historic," Obama said the two countries can now end the antagonism of the Cold War era, although he said he would continue to pressure the communist-led country on democracy and human rights. "Obviously there are still going to be deep and significant differences between our two governments," Obama told Castro as they met in Panama, where they both attended a summit of leaders from across the Americas. The U.S. president said he believed both sides could raise their concerns about the other's policies yet still work together to boost commercial, travel and diplomatic ties. More »

  • U.S. and Cuba: from Cold War hostilities to a historic meeting Sun, Apr 12, 2015

    (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama held talks with Cuban President Raul Castro during a regional summit in Panama on Saturday, the first meeting between the leaders of the two countries for more than 50 years and a landmark encounter as the two countries move to set aside decades of Cold War hostility. Here are some key events in U.S.-Cuba relations in the last half-century: Jan. 1, 1959 - U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista flees Cuba as Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries seize control. April 19, 1959 - Fidel Castro, as prime minister, meets U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon in what will become the highest-level talks between the two countries for decades. The next day, CIA-backed Cuban exiles try to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, but are defeated. More »

  • Obama And Castro In Historic Meeting
    Obama And Castro In Historic Meeting Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    The leaders of the US and Cuba have held their first formal meeting in more than half a century - clearing the way for a thawing of relations that seemed unthinkable to citizens of both countries only a few years ago. US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro met in a small conference room in Panama, where they sat side by side. Mr Obama said the event was "obviously a historic meeting", adding that his country was ready to "turn the page" with Cuba on the past. More »

  • Obama, Castro herald new era at Americas Summit
    Obama, Castro herald new era at Americas Summit Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    US President Barack Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro opened a new era of relations Saturday as they both addressed a landmark Summit of the Americas ahead of historic one-on-one talks. More »

  • Latin America celebrates push by Obama, Castro to heal U.S.-Cuba rift Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    By Matt Spetalnick and David Alire Garcia PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - As Latin American leaders applaud a historic thawing of animosity between the United States and Cuba, U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Raul Castro for talks on Saturday that could further boost his reputation in the region. Obama and the Cuban president shook hands and spoke briefly at the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Americas on Friday night, a gesture that drew praise from other leaders who have in recent years called for changes in U.S. policy on Cuba. "The fact that Cuba is here is the greatest achievement of Latin America and the Caribbean," said Maduro, who this week appeared to soften his stance towards Washington after a recent surge in tension. More »

  • Obama, Castro stand together at historic summit
    Obama, Castro stand together at historic summit Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    US President Barack Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro stood near each other at a historic Summit of the Americas on Friday, marking a major milestone in their efforts to end decades of animosity. More »

  • Obama meets Cuba dissidents on eve of Castro talks
    Obama meets Cuba dissidents on eve of Castro talks Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    On the eve of an historic meeting with Raul Castro, US President Barack Obama pointedly met two of the Cuban leader's fiercest critics and launched a staunch defense of opposition activists Friday. More »

  • Obama, Castro head toward historic encounter
    Obama, Castro head toward historic encounter Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    US President Barack Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro will break bread with other leaders from around the Americas at a historic summit Friday, a potent symbol of their efforts to end decades of animosity. More »

  • Cuba May Be Taken Off Terror Sponsor List Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    The US may take Cuba off its state terror sponsors' list, as relations between the two countries continue to thaw. The news comes as the old foes held their highest-level meeting in more than 50 years - US Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez met in Panama on Thursday while attending a regional summit. While in Jamaica on Wednesday, Mr Obama signalled that he will soon act to remove Cuba from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, removing a stigma that has been a source of friction for Havana. That move could come within days, and would clear a major obstacle in the effort to restore diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana, paving the way for the reopening of embassies that have been shut for 54 years. More »

  • U.S., Cuba hold highest-level meeting in more than 50 years
    U.S., Cuba hold highest-level meeting in more than 50 years Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    By Matt Spetalnick and Dave Graham PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - The U.S. and Cuban foreign ministers sat down for talks on Thursday night in the highest-level meeting between the two sides since the early days of the Cuban revolution more than half a century ago. Secretary of State John Kerry met Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez in a Panama City hotel, the latest step towards better ties since President Barack Obama announced a historic shift in Cuba policy on Dec. 17. "Secretary Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Rodriguez had a lengthy and very constructive discussion this evening. The encounter took place on the eve of the Summit of the Americas in Panama, where Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro will cross paths along with other leaders in the region. More »

  • Consumer magazines latest sign of Cuba's changing times
    Consumer magazines latest sign of Cuba's changing times Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    Two new magazines packed with glossy advertising are set to launch in Cuba, the latest sign of the changing times as the communist island reopens ties with the United States More »

  • Fidel Castro makes first public appearance in 14 months
    Fidel Castro makes first public appearance in 14 months Sat, Apr 4, 2015

    Cuba's former president and revolutionary icon Fidel Castro has made his first public appearance in 14 months, local media reported Saturday. More »

  • Here’s What Happened Today: Saturday
    Here’s What Happened Today: Saturday Sat, Apr 4, 2015

    A whale in Kerry, a grenade in the Phoenix Park and Irish Water had people talking today. More »

  • Fidel Castro appears in public for first time in over a year
    Fidel Castro appears in public for first time in over a year Sat, Apr 4, 2015

    By Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, 88, appeared in public "full of vitality" for the first time in more than a year on Monday, greeting a delegation of Venezuelans, official media reported on Saturday. It was his first known appearance outside his home since Cuba in December agreed to normalise relations with the United States, Castro's longtime adversary. He met at a school with 33 Venezuelans, who were on a solidarity mission to Cuba, for about 90 minutes. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, oil-rich Venezuela has become Communist Cuba's closest ally and chief benefactor. More »

  • Bank of Ireland wouldn’t accept couple’s Cuba holiday money
    Bank of Ireland wouldn’t accept couple’s Cuba holiday money Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    BoI has a relationship with a US bank – which makes things a little complicated. But this sounds ridiculous… More »

  • U.S. removes dead Cubans, sunken ships from sanctions list Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    By Daniel Trotta and Anna Yukhananov HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States removed 45 companies and individuals from a Cuba sanctions blacklist on Tuesday, most of them dead people, defunct companies or sunken ships. Among them was Amado Padron, a Cuban executed by a firing squad 26 years ago along with Arnaldo Ochoa, a decorated army general who was sentenced to death by Cuba's communist government after he was found to be connected to international drug trafficking. The U.S. ... More »

  • EU's Mogherini prepares for first Cuba visit
    EU's Mogherini prepares for first Cuba visit Sun, Mar 22, 2015

    EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini arrives in Cuba on Monday in a bid to spur delicately balanced talks aimed at normalizing ties with the communist island state. More »

  • LatAm leftists hold summit in support of Venezuela
    LatAm leftists hold summit in support of Venezuela Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    Leaders from leftist Latin American regional bloc ALBA gathered Tuesday for a summit in Caracas, a show of support for Venezuela in its mounting standoff with the United States. More »