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Foreign Relations US, Cuba restore diplomatic ties after 50-year feud

US President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro, after 18 months of secret talks, agreed to restore relations via a phone call on Tuesday, December 16, and formalized the arrangement on Wednesday.

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US President Barack Obama shares a handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro at a memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela in December 2013 play

US President Barack Obama shares a handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro at a memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela in December 2013

(Reuters)

The United States and Cuba have ended a 50-year feud and agreed to restore diplomatic ties between the two countries.

US President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro, after 18 months of secret talks, agreed to restore relations via a phone call on Tuesday, December 16, and formalized the arrangement on Wednesday.

Obama also called for an end to the long economic embargo on Cuba as both presidents approved a breakthrough prisoner exchange, the opening of embassies in each other's countries, and an easing of some restrictions on commerce.

The deal was facilitated by Canada and the Vatican and both Obama and Castro announced the reconciliation in simultaneous televised speeches.

Cuba and the United States became enemies after the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro, the current president’s older brother, to power.

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