US, Cuba announce historic thaw in ties

Cuban students march in Havana, on December 17, 2014, to celebrate after Washington released three Cuban spies, as the US and Cuba brought their bitter Cold War stand-off towards a historic closeThe United States and Cuba moved to end five decades of Cold War hostility Wednesday, agreeing to revive diplomatic ties in a breakthrough that would also ease a crippling US trade embargo. In the wake of a prisoner exchange, President Barack Obama said Washington was ready for a “new chapter” in relations with communist Cuba and would re-establish its embassy in Havana, shuttered since 1961. “We are all Americans,” Obama declared, breaking into Spanish for a speech that the White House portrayed as a bid to reassert US leadership in the Western Hemisphere.