The image is from Wikipedia Commons
President Obama meets with President Castro in Panama.
|Date||July 20, 2015 (2015-07-20)|
|Also known as||Normalization of relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States|
|Organized by||President of the United States Barack Obama,
President of Cuba Raúl Castro,
Pope Francis, Holy See
|Outcome||Restoration of diplomatic relations between the two governments|
The Cuban thaw (Spanish: deshielo cubano) 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 the 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.
In May 2012, it was reported that the U.S. had declined a "spy swap" proposed by the Cuban government, wherein the remaining three of an original group of Cuban prisoners the U.S. had convicted of espionage known as the Cuban Five, in prison in the U.S. since the 1990s, would be returned to Cuba in exchange for USAID contractor Alan Gross. Gross had been imprisoned in Cuba for providing illegal cellphone chips of a type used by CIA agents, which are designed to evade detection, in addition to computer equipment, satellite phones, and internet access to Cuba's Jewish community.
Despite initial U.S. refusals, the prisoner swap eventually took place in December 2014 following the President's announcement of intent to move towards normalized relations. In addition to Gross, the swap included Rolando Sarraff Trujillo, a Cuban who had worked as an agent for American intelligence and had been in a Cuban prison for nearly 20 years. Additionally, in early January 2015, the Cuban government began releasing a number of imprisoned dissidents, as requested by the United States. On January 12, 2015, it was reported that all 53 dissidents had been released.
The prisoner swap marked the biggest shift in White House policy towards Cuba since the imposition of the embargo in 1962, and removed a key obstacle to bilateral relations. Since the exchange, Gross has become a vocal advocate of normalization of relations, even offering to visit Cuba again in support of such a result.
Easing of travel and trade restrictions
Although the Cuban trade embargo can only be ended by the U.S. Congress, the Obama administration took executive action to ease some restrictions on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens, as well as restrictions on the import and export of goods between each country. In his 2015 State of the Union Address to Congress, Obama called on lawmakers to lift the embargo against Cuba, a message he reiterated in 2016.
In February 2015, Conan O'Brien became the third American television personality to film in Cuba in more than half a century (the first being Michael Moore's Sicko in 2007 and the second being Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations in 2011). In May 2015, the Minnesota Orchestra performed several concerts in Havana, the first professional U.S. orchestra to play in Cuba since 1999.
Major League Baseball (MLB) held talks about playing spring training games in Cuba in 2015, but lacked time to arrange them. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said on March 19, 2015, that the league would likely play an exhibition game in Cuba sometime in early 2016  and on March 22, 2016, the Tampa Bay Rays played an exhibition game against the Cuban national team at Estadio Latinoamericano in Havana with Presidents Obama and Castro in attendance.
Sun Country Airlines began operating charter flights between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Havana's José Martí International Airport in March 2015. On May 5, 2015, the United States granted approval to four companies to offer chartered ferry service between Miami and Cuba. In March 2016, Carnival Cruise Line received permission from Cuba to resume cruises from Miami to Havana for the first time in fifty years. Cuba, however, still prohibited the Cuban-born from returning by sea, and Carnival therefore refused to accept reservations from the Cuban-born. Following public protests against such an exclusionary policy, Carnival told the Cuban authorities it would not sail unless the policy was changed, the Cuban government relented, and the first Carnival cruise sailed from Miami on May 1, 2016.
Between January and May 2015, the number of Americans visiting Cuba who had no family ties there was 36% higher than during the same months in 2014. A report by the Pew Research Center found that the number of Cubans entering the U.S. in 2015 was 78% higher than in 2014.
Normalization of relations
It has been said that the United States–Cuban thaw was spurred by Cuba's main international partner, Venezuela, experiencing sharp economic decline. Venezuela subsidized the government of Cuba, however following the oil price drop resulting from the 2010s oil glut, could no longer do so. (see also Pink tide#Decline)
On January 21, 2015, the United States and Cuba began bilateral talks in Havana to discuss further normalization issues. The U.S. delegation led by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta S. Jacobson, and Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, Cuba's head of North American affairs, sat down for the first day of closed-door talks in the capital's Convention Center. The talks reportedly centered around migration policy. In particular, Cuban representatives urged the U.S. to end its immigration privileges to Cuban refugees, also known as the wet feet, dry feet policy,[needs update] which allows any fleeing Cuban citizens U.S. residency and citizenship, as long as they are found on U.S. soil and not at sea. Reuters reported that civilian uncertainty about the status of U.S. immigration policy following the thaw was promoting a surge of emigrants fleeing Cuba for the U.S.
In regard to U.S. interests, the U.S. delegation made it clear that "improved human rights conditions, including freedom of expression and assembly", remain a central element of U.S. policy in normalizing U.S.–Cuban relations. Furthermore, despite Cuban objections, the U.S. stated that it will stand by its Cuban migration policy under the Cuban Adjustment Act.
A second round of talks took place in Washington, D.C., late in February 2015. Negotiators described the talks as productive and said several issues were close to resolution. However, the issue of Cuba's listing among state sponsors of terrorism by the U.S. government remained a significant sticking point, although Cuban diplomat Josefina Vidal said its removal was not strictly a precondition to reopening embassies.
A third round of talks were held in Havana from March 16–17, 2015. However, the talks ended abruptly after just a day, without any public comment. Obama and Castro themselves met at the Summit of the Americas in Panama on April 10–11, where Castro delivered an address praising Obama and apologising for blaming his government for the ongoing U.S. embargo. After meeting with Obama, Castro called for the reopening of the embassies, while both presidents said they were looking forward to more direct engagement between Cuba and the United States despite their differences.
"State sponsor of terrorism" designation
In addition to Cuba's concern over U.S. migration policy, the Cuban delegation assured the U.S. that normalization talks would not yield significant changes unless Cuba is removed from the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba was one of four countries on the list, the other three being Iran, Sudan, and Syria. The U.S. government said that it had begun an intelligence review in order to evaluate whether Cuba can be removed from the list.
On April 14, 2015, President Obama informed the U.S. Congress that he had decided to lift the designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism because "the government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding six-month period", and it "has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future". The U.S. Congress could have blocked this by passing legislation within 45 days, but no member of Congress even introduced such legislation, and Cuba was officially removed from the list on May 29, 2015.
Cuban governmental bank account
On May 20, 2015, the Cuban government opened a bank account in the United States, enabling it to do non-cash business in the United States for the first time since the embargo began.
Cuba and the United States officially resumed full diplomatic relations at midnight on July 20, 2015, with the "Cuban interests section" in Washington, D.C., and the "U.S. interests section" in Havana being upgraded to embassies. A ceremony was held at the Cuban Embassy to raise the flag of Cuba, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla holding a joint news conference afterward at which they emphasized both the step forward in bilateral relations and the remaining political differences between the Cuban and U.S. governments. Kerry flew to Cuba in late July for a ceremony at which the flag of the United States was raised over the US Embassy in Havana.
Guantanamo Bay controversy
On January 28, 2015, while attending a meeting of Latin American leaders in San José, Costa Rica, President Raúl Castro asserted that the United States should return the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and lift the embargo on Cuba if relations were to be considered fully normalized.
The White House responded the next day, saying that it had no intention to return the base. White House spokesman Josh Earnest indicated any such move is out of the question. "The President does believe that the prison at Guantánamo Bay should be closed down, but the naval base is not something that we wish to be closed." This issue has yet to be resolved.
Economic initiatives by the United States government
The United States government has stated specific goals in improving trade with Cuba. Roberta Jacobson, an American diplomat, suggested bolstering Internet access and mobile phone service in Cuba to help its integration into the world economy. This has provided American telecommunication companies including Verizon and Sprint with a new market in Cuba. By July 20, 2016, US companies Airbnb and Netflix were operating in Cuba as well.
The United States seeks to increase revenue from tourism in Cuba by lifting traveling restrictions which can be used for purchase of American agricultural and manufacturing exports to Cuba. On March 20, 2016, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide became the first US company to sign a deal with Cuba since the 1959 revolution and agreed to manage two Havana hotels which had formerly been owned by the Cuban government. The first of these hotels opened three months later on June 27. A number of American companies support further economic ties with Cuba, as do advocacy groups like Engage Cuba.
Resumption of mail service and regular airline service
On December 11, 2015, the United States and Cuba agreed to restore postal service between the two countries for the first time since 1963. A week later, on December 17, 2015–the first anniversary of D17–an agreement was reached to re-establish regularly scheduled flights between the U.S. and Cuba for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The agreement, which allows for 110 flights a day, took effect on February 16, 2016. Mail service between the two countries resumed on March 17, 2016.
On July 7, 2016, it was announced that eight US airline companies had been given tentative approval to fly to airports in Cuba and that flights, which would be limited to educational trips, would begin as early as September. On August 31, 2016, JetBlue became the first US commercial airline in more than 50 years to land a plane carrying US passengers at a Cuban airport when Flight 387 took off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and landed in Santa Clara, Cuba. More flights have since followed, and two planes from JetBlue and American Airlines also made history by landing in the capital city of Havana on November 28, 2016, marking the first time in more than 50 years that a US commercial flight landed in Havana.
By November 2017, however, numerous airline companies had quit doing flights to Cuba.
US presidential visit
President Obama arrived in Cuba for a three-day visit on March 20, 2016. Obama headed a delegation of between 800 and 1,200, including businesspeople and congressional leaders who had helped in establishing the 2014 normalization deal.
Obama was the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Obama said that he would only visit Cuba if he could meet with Cuban dissidents: "If I go on a visit, then part of the deal is that I get to talk to everybody. I've made it very clear in my conversations directly with President Raúl Castro that we would continue to reach out to those who want to broaden the scope for, you know, free expression inside of Cuba."
Travel by sea
On May 1, 2016, the MV Adonia, a cruise ship operated by Carnival subsidiary Fathom Travel, departed from Miami and docked in Havana Bay, marking the first time in nearly 40 years that a U.S. passenger ship sailed from the U.S. to Cuba. Carnival said that the Adonia would go from Miami to Havana every other week.
Two other Miami-based cruise lines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, are interested in running cruises to Cuba and are seeking Cuban government authorization. A number of Florida ferry companies have received authorization from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to begin service to Cuba, but the companies are waiting on Cuban government permission.
Domestic political responses
Raúl Castro, the Cuban president since 2008 and one of the leaders of the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s, declared in 2013 that "a slow and orderly transfer of the leadership of the revolution to the new generations" was already in progress. Castro pledged not to seek reelection in 2018. In announcing the agreement in December 2014, Castro struck a balance between praising the Marxist revolution that brought him and his brother Fidel to power almost 60 years prior and extolling the benefits that would be brought about by improved relations with the United States, namely the end of the Cuban embargo.
Fidel Castro appeared to welcome the thaw between Cuba and the United States in a statement published by Granma on January 26, 2015. Despite saying that he "does not trust United States policies", he stated, "We will always defend cooperation and friendship with all the peoples of the world, among them our political adversaries."
However, later in 2016, Fidel Castro asserted his criticism of Obama, acknowledging his own anger with Obama's March trip to Cuba in which he called for Cubans to look toward the future. A week after the trip, Castro wrote a sternly worded letter admonishing Obama to read up on Cuban history, and declaring that "we don't need the empire to give us anything."
In December 2014, Raúl Castro publicly thanked Pope Francis and the Catholic Church for their role in the secret talks that led to the U.S.–Cuban prisoner exchange. According to Church officials within Cuba, several plans to build Catholic churches, which have been blocked since the revolution in 1959, are being processed. The first church is to be built in Sandino. It will be the first Catholic church to be built in Cuba since 1959, when the communist Castro regime declared the country an atheist state.
At a CELAC meeting in 2015, Raúl Castro gave a speech claiming "Cuba will continue to defend the ideas for which our people have assumed the greatest sacrifices and risks." In that speech, he detailed the history of Cuba's foreign relations. Throughout the speech, he condemned the United States' history of manifest destiny, detailing a basic history of American and Cuban relations. After talking about the United States' policy in Cuba, he went on to condemn the United States' assistance in installing the "terrible dictatorships in 20 countries, 12 of them simultaneously", referring to the United States' supporting of Latin American dictatorships. Following that, Castro detailed Cuba's history following the Cuban Revolution. But despite his prior backlash against the United States, Castro summarized his speech by praising the recent improvements in American-Cuban relations, and wondered why "the countries of the two Americas, the North and the South, fight together against terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime, without politically biased positions."
In the United States
The Cuban thaw has received a mixed reception among politicians in the United States. Prominent critics include Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Rubio, a Cuban-American Republican, said that "diplomatic recognition [would] provide legitimacy to a government that doesn't deserve it." The 2014 congressional elections were a month prior to the announcement of the thaw.
Senator Bob Menendez, a Cuban-American Democrat from New Jersey and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was an early critic of Obama's decision to normalize relations with Cuba. Writing in USA Today on December 17, Menendez criticized Obama "for compromising on bedrock U.S. values", charging that the Obama administration "has wrongly rewarded a totalitarian regime and thrown the Cuban regime an economic lifeline". Among the few other Democrats who have criticized Obama over the shift in relations with Cuba are two members of the House of Representatives: Albio Sires and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Congressional opponents of the new Cuba policy vowed to try to block its implementation, with Rubio announcing he would hold up the confirmation of any U.S. ambassador to Cuba whom Obama might nominate. Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas described the policy as a "tragic mistake." However, the Associated Press reported that business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would likely apply pressure on congressmen to accept the diplomatic thaw, and Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a supporter of the shift, predicted many congressmen would come around.
Like Senator Flake, Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, supports the thaw on the grounds that increased trade relations will benefit both Cubans and Americans. Senator Paul, in response to Senator Rubio, argued that "Senator Rubio is acting like an isolationist", and that, "The 50-year embargo just hasn't worked. If the goal is regime change, it sure doesn't seem to be working."
Similarly, Obama's former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton strongly endorsed the decision. Clinton has argued that the embargo "had propped up the Castro government because they could blame all of the country's problems on the United States. Moreover, the embargo did not have any impact on freedom of speech, freedom of expression, or on freeing political prisoners."
A survey conducted by Pew Research Center in January 2016 found that 63% of Americans approved of Obama's decision to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba, while 28% disapproved. The study found that Democrats (74%) and Independents (67%) were more likely to support the re-established relations; 40% of Republicans approved. The study also found that 66% of Americans supported ending the trade embargo against Cuba, while 28% disapproved. Support for both the re-establishment of relations and the lifting of the trade embargo was seen broadly amongst all racial and ethnic groups (62% of whites, 64% of blacks, and 65% of Hispanics) and amongst all age-brackets, however younger Americans were more likely to support it than older Americans. Americans who were college or university graduates (77%) overwhelmingly supported the restoration of relations, while people with only some college education (59%) or only high school education (53%) were less likely to support it. Despite broad support for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations and the end of the trade embargo, only 32% of Americans surveyed believed that Cuba would become "more democratic" over the next several years, with 60% believing the situation in Cuba will remain the same.
Russia, one of Cuba's closest allies, encouraged Washington to go further by lifting the embargo and removing Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. China, also one of Cuba's closest allies, welcomed the resumption of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States.
Israel was one of the few countries not to issue a statement welcoming the change, and it was reported that the Israeli Foreign Ministry is "miffed" at having been caught off guard by the change. Israel-Cuba relations have been icy since the 1960s, and Israel has been the only country to consistently side with the US against UN resolutions criticizing the embargo.
Several Latin American leaders publicly welcomed the thaw, with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro hailing Obama's move toward normalization as a "valiant and historically necessary gesture", despite being a regular critic of U.S. policy. Colombian Liberal ex-President Ernesto Samper in his capacity as President of UNASUR said that "this was very good news, not only for Cuba but for the entire region". Juan Carlos Varela, the conservative President of Panama, said that in the 7th Summit of the Americas to be held in his country after April 7, 2015, it will be possible to "achieve the dream of a united region".
The Canadian government, which maintained more positive relations with Cuba than the United States did during and after the Cold War, also responded favorably, with Foreign Minister John Baird suggesting to The Atlantic commentator Jeffrey Goldberg that the policy shift could help "transform" Cuba for the better.
Media sources, which were quick to dub the sudden turnaround in relations the "Cuban thaw", have predicted that it will lead to a wide variety of social and economic benefits for the two countries, as well as some less obvious impacts. Newsweek reported that the stock market jumped once elements of the Cuban thaw were reported. Reuters reported that the thaw would "make it more likely the Cuban government will extradite fugitives sought by U.S. officials." The Associated Press reported environmentalist concerns that the thaw would lead to the opening of "one of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet", which sits off the coast of Cuba. Bloomberg News reported that the thaw would even benefit Major League Baseball, with teams gaining major new opportunities to sign Cuban players. There were reports on how the Cuban thaw affected Cuban society, including its real estate market and greater emphasis on English language education.
The New Republic deemed the Cuban thaw to be "Obama's finest foreign policy achievement." The Indonesian journal Strategic Review proposed that Obama could follow the model of normalization of relations which his predecessor Bill Clinton had done with Vietnam-USA relationship.
Granma, Cuba's state newspaper, published numerous articles regarding the Cuban thaw. It stated that "International public opinion supports removal of Cuba from U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism," and that "[t]he decision is recognized as an important step in advancing President Obama's policy change to improve relations between the two countries." Additionally, they stated that "[t]he Cuban government recognizes the just decision taken by the President of the United States to eliminate Cuba from a list on which it never should have been included" and reiterated that Cuba "rejects and condemns all acts of terrorism in all their forms and manifestations, as well as any action that is intended to instigate, support, finance or conceal terrorist acts."
Partial reversal of thaw
On June 16, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a presidential memorandum reversing some aspects of the Obama administration's actions regarding U.S. relations with Cuba, and characterizing them as "terrible and misguided". He expanded the prohibition on American money going to the Cuban military, saying it also prohibits dealings with the Grupo de Administracion Empresarial, a conglomerate which the Cuban military manages. That will have the effect of placing certain hotels and other tourism facilities off-limits to Americans. He reinstated a ban on individual travel to Cuba by Americans, while leaving in place travel permission for organized "educational" groups and family visits. Airline and cruise ship visits to Cuba will continue to be permitted. Diplomatic relations will remain in place and the embassies will remain open. The new restrictions will go into effect only after appropriate regulations are drawn up by the Treasury and Commerce departments.
On November 8, 2017, it was announced that the business and travel restrictions which were loosened under the Obama administration would once again be tightened to include limits, ensuring that American tourists will once again have to go through tour operators in order to stay at a hotel or do business in Cuba starting November 9, 2017.
On 4 June 2019, the Trump Administration announced a full ban on cruise ship, as well as private yacht or plane travel to Cuba. It also announced a ban on educational and "people-to-people" travel, which was until that point the most popular legal mechanism for american travel to the island. The sanctions had been first mentioned a few days earlier, in a speech by US National Security advisor John Bolton to veterans of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in Miami. The Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, stated that the Cuban state "rejected" the sanctions, which it viewed as aiming to suffocate the island's economy and harm its living standards in order to achieve political concessions.
- "Betting on a Cuban Thaw: Stocks Soar on Rumors of U.S. Relations With Cuba". Newsweek. Reuters. December 17, 2014.
- Parker, K. Quincy (January 8, 2015). "CARICOM Launches Five-Year Plan". The Nassau Guardian. Archived from the original on August 8, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
The rapprochement of which Christie spoke has been referred to as 'The Cuban Thaw'.
- "Se inicia la Cumbre con la mira puesta en el 'deshielo' cubano-estadounidense". Télam (in Spanish). April 10, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
- Reyes Uschinsky, Carla (January 28, 2016). "Dos mujeres diplomáticas dirigen las negociaciones en el deshielo cubano". Mundario (in Spanish). Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- "Obama begins historic visit to Cuba". Washington Post. March 20, 2016.
- Nadeau, Barbie Latza (December 17, 2014). "The Pope's Diplomatic Miracle: Ending the U.S.–Cuba Cold War". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
- Tannebaum, Daniel & Stokes, Amber (December 18, 2014). "Key Points from the President's Announcement on Cuba Sanctions" (PDF). First Take. PwC Financial Services Regulatory Practice.
- Keane, Angela Greiling & Dorning, Mike (December 17, 2014). "Cuba's Half Century of Isolation to End". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2014.
- Baker, Peter (December 18, 2014). "Obama Announces U.S. and Cuba Will Resume Relations". The New York Times. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
- Archibold, Randall C.; Davis, Julie Hirschfeld (April 14, 2015). "Cuba to Be Removed From U.S. List of Nations That Sponsor Terrorism". New York Times.
- "US and Cuba restore ties by opening embassies". Al Jazeera. July 20, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
- CNN, Dan Merica and Jim Acosta. "Trump chips away at Obama's legacy on Cuba". CNN. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- "Live stream: Trump announces policy changes on Cuba". USA TODAY. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- Butler, Desmond (February 13, 2012). "USAID contractor work in Cuba detailed". Associated Press. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
- Robinson, Circles (May 11, 2012). "US Says NO to Alan Gross-Cuban 5 Swap". Havana Times.
- "Cuba libera a Alan Gross y EE UU a los 3 espías". CubaNet (in Spanish). December 17, 2014.
- Mazzetti, Mark; Schmidt, Michael S. & Robles, Frances (December 18, 2014). "Crucial Spy in Cuba Paid a Heavy Cold War Price". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
He was, in many ways, a perfect spy—a man so important to Cuba's intelligence apparatus that the information he gave to the Central Intelligence Agency paid dividends long after Cuban authorities arrested him and threw him in prison for nearly two decades.
- Goldman, Adam (December 18, 2014). "U.S. Spy Freed by Cuba Was Longtime Asset". The Washington Post.
- Garvin, Glenn; Tamayo, Juan O. & Mazzei, Patricia (January 1, 2015). "Spy Wars: A Wilderness of Mirrors in U.S.–Cuba Swap". The Miami Herald. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
- Ford, Dana & Lopez, Juan Carlos (January 12, 2015). "Cuba Releases 53 Political Prisoners". CNN. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- "Cuba libera a Alan Gross y EE UU a los 3 espías". CubaNet (in Spanish). December 17, 2014.
- Adams, David (January 19, 2015). "Obama Must Work with Congress to Reform Cuba Embargo: Policy Experts". Reuters.
- Avila, Jim & Keneally, Meghan (January 20, 2015). "President Asks Congress to Lift the Embargo Against Cuba". ABC News. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- Maselli, Giovanna (January 13, 2016). "Obama: 'Lift The Embargo On Cuba'". CBS Miami (WFOR-TV). Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- France, Lisa Respers (February 16, 2015). "Conan O'Brien Takes Show to Cuba". CNN. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- After Thaw, Minnesota Orchestra Returns To Cuba by Euan Kerr, NPR on May 17, 2015.
- "MLB Considering Games in Cuba". ESPN. Associated Press. February 28, 2015. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
- Costa, Brian (March 19, 2015). "MLB Likely to Play Exhibition Game in Cuba". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- "Rays beat Cuban team with Barack Obama, Raul Castro in attendance". ESPN.com. March 22, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Direct Flights Between Cuba and New York Have Started". Skift. Associated Press. March 18, 2015. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- Hemlock, Doreen; Satchell, Arlene (May 5, 2015). "At least four Florida companies approved for ferry service to Cuba". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- Herrera, Chabeli (March 21, 2016). "Carnival gets approval to start cruising from Miami to Cuba in May". Miami Herald. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Satchell, Arlene (April 22, 2016). "Historic Cuba cruise can sail with Cuban-born passengers, Carnival says". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- "Dramatic Increase In U.S. To Cuba Travel, Up 36 Percent From Last Year". NBC News. Associated Press. May 26, 2015.
- "Cuban immigration to U.S. surges as relations warm". Pew Research Center. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
- "Why the United States and Cuba are cosying up". The Economist. May 29, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
- Usborne, David (December 4, 2015). "Venezuela's ruling socialists face defeat at polls". The Independent. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- Klapper, Bradley & Weissenstein, Michael (January 21, 2015). "US, Cuba Spar Over Migration Policy at Historic Havana Talks". Yahoo! News. Associated Press.
- Cuban immigration surges after thaw in US-Cuba relations by David Adams and Zachary Fagenson, Reuters on May 13, 2015.
- Trotta, Daniel & Wroughton, Lesley (January 22, 2015). "U.S. Presses Cuba on Human Rights in Talks on Restoring Ties". Reuters.
- Vick, Karl (February 27, 2015). "Cuba Talks Turn Awkward Over Terror Listing". Time. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
- Archibold, Randal (March 17, 2015). "U.S.–Cuba Talks on Restoring Diplomatic Ties End Abruptly". The New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
- "Raul Castro Says Cuba Blockade not Obama's Fault". The Huffington Post. Associated Press. April 11, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- Bobic, Igor (April 11, 2015). "Barack Obama and Cuba President Raul Castro Make History with First Sit-Down Meeting". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- Trotta, Daniel (January 21, 2015). "Cuba Wants off U.S. Terrorism List Before Restoring Normal Ties". Reuters.
- Sparrow, Thomas (January 23, 2015). "How Will Cuba Get off the State-Sponsored Terrorism List?". BBC Mundo. BBC.
- DeYoung, Karen (April 14, 2015). "Obama Removes Cuba from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism". Washington Post.
- Wall, Katie (May 29, 2015). "U.S. Officially Removes Cuba From State Sponsors of Terrorism List". NBC News. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
- "US removes Cuba from list of state sponsors of terror". BBC.com. BBC News. May 29, 2015. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
- Cuban Government Opens US Bank Account, Strengthening Diplomatic Thaw by Owen Davis, International Business Times on May 20, 2015.
- "U.S., Cuba restore full diplomatic ties after 5 decades". CBC News. July 20, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
- Welsh, Teresa (July 20, 2015). "After Half a Century, the Cuban Flag Flies Officially in Washington". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
- "As Embassies Open, a Further Cuban Thaw Faces Hurdles in Congress". The Wall Street Journal. July 20, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
- Al Jazeera Staff (January 28, 2015). "Raúl Castro to US: Return Gitmo, End Embargo". Al Jazeera.
- Toppa, Sabrina (January 29, 2015). "The U.S. Will Not Return Guantanamo Bay to Cuba, the White House Says". Time. Agence France-Presse.
- Vyas, Kejal. "U.S. Sets a Goal in Cuba: Open Internet". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
- "Sprint to begin roaming service in Cuba". miamiherald. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
- "A year on, Cuba urges Obama to make thaw 'irreversible'". Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- "Abbott's trip to Cuba shows it's time for U.S. to lift trade..." www.mystatesman.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
- "Starwood signs first U.S.-Cuba hotel deal since 1959 revolution". Reuters. March 20, 2016. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- "Cuban hotel becomes first to operate under U.S. brand". Reuters. June 28, 2016. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- "N349NB ✈ 01-Dec-2016 ✈ KATL – HAV / MUHA ✈ FlightAware". FlightAware. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- Jerry Markon (December 11, 2015). "U.S., Cuba to re-establish direct mail service in latest sign of normalizing relations". Washington Post. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
- "US-Cuba aviation deal allows 110 scheduled flights a day". WTOP. December 17, 2015. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
- "US restores regular flights to Cuba". Yahoo News. February 16, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
- "Cuban Who Wrote Obama Says She's Thrilled to Get Response". New York Times. Associated Press. March 17, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- Annalyn Kurtz (July 7, 2016). "Eight U.S. Airlines Win Tentative Approval to Fly to Havana". New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
- Robles, Frances (August 31, 2016). "Scheduled Flights to Cuba From U.S. Begin Again, Now With Jet Engines". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- "Historic commercial flight from U.S. lands in Cuba". Chicago Tribune.
- "American Airlines flight lands in Cienfuegos, Cuba". Miami Herald. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- "Southwest Soars with 1st Miami-Fort Lauderdale Area to Cuba Flight". Tampa, FL Patch. November 13, 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- "American Airlines soars into the Cuban market but most flights are half empty". Miami Herald. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- "JetBlue Lands In Camagüey, Cuba, Building on Its Historic First Flight With Even More Service From South Florida". www.businesswire.com. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- "It's another milestone with flight from Miami to Havana". Miami Herald. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- "JetBlue's First NYC-to-Cuba Flight Departs". NBC New York. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- "First Commercial US-Havana Flight Lands as Country Mourns". AP. November 28, 2016 – via The New York Times.
- "Barack Obama tours Old Havana in Cuba at start of historic 3-day visit". March 20, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
- Dan Roberts. "Barack Obama lands in Cuba as first US president to visit in 88 years". the Guardian. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
- "Obama planning historic trip to Cuba to cement warmer ties". U.S. News & World Report. February 17, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
- Victoria Burnett, Carnival Sails to Cuba, New York Times (April 22, 2016).
- Victoria Burnett, Cruise Ship From Miami Docks in Havana, Ending Decades-Old Freeze, New York Times (May 2, 2016).
- First US cruise ship in decades arrives in Cuba, BBC News (May 2, 2016).
- Frank, Marc (July 26, 2013). "Cuba's Raul Castro Promises Succession Has Started". Reuters. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- Oppmann, Patrick (February 26, 2013). "Cuban President Raul Castro says he'll leave in 2018". CNN. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
- Trotta, Daniel (January 26, 2015). "Fidel Castro Issues Statement Apparently In Support Of U.S.–Cuba Diplomacy". The Huffington Post. Reuters. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
- Oppmann, Patrick (January 30, 2015). "Cuba to Build First New Catholic Church Since Castro". CNN.
- "Cuba Will Continue to Defend the Ideas for Which Our People Have Assumed the Greatest Sacrifices and Risks". Granma. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- "In Paul–Rubio Feud over Cuba, a Preview of GOP's 2016 Foreign Policy Debate". The Washington Post. December 20, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- King, Ledyard (January 7, 2015). "Rubio Open to Hearings on Changing U.S.–Cuba Relations". USA Today. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- Menendez, Robert (December 17, 2014). "Sen. Menendez: One-Sided Deal Rewards Cuba Regime". USA Today. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- "Rep. Sires Pushes Back Against Obama's Cuba Plans". NPR. December 18, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
- Hensch, Mark (July 9, 2015). "DNC chairwoman criticizes Cuba thaw". The Hill. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
- "US–Cuba Shift: Opponents Threaten to Block Changes". BBC News. December 18, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- Kane, Paul & O'Keefe, Ed (December 19, 2014). "Opponents Formulate a Strategy to Derail Obama's New Cuba Policy". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- Nelson, Rebecca (December 17, 2014). "Ted Cruz: Obama's New Cuba Policy 'Will Be Remembered as a Tragic Mistake'". National Journal.
- "Not Much Chance of Congress Stopping Cuba Policy". The Press of Atlantic City. December 18, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2015. [dead link]
- Weigel, David (December 19, 2014). "Rand Paul Battles Marco Rubio Over Cuba Policy". Bloomberg Politics.
- "Hillary Clinton Backs Shift in US Policy Toward Cuba". Firstpost. Indo-Asian News Service/Agencia EFE. December 18, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- Rappeport, Alan (December 17, 2014). "On Cuba, Hillary Clinton Is an Advocate for Normal Relations". First Draft. The New York Times.
- "Most Support Stronger U.S. Ties With Cuba". Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. January 16, 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
- "Poland Urges US to Go Further with Cuban Thaw". Radio Poland. December 19, 2014.
- "Russian Foreign Minister Praises New US-Cuba Relations". Russia Insider. December 25, 2015.
- "China Welcomes Move to Restore U.S.-Cuba Diplomatic Relations". China-US Focus. December 17, 2014.
- Ahnsaf, Zalman (December 26, 2014). "Foreign Ministry Miffed Over U.S–Cuban Thaw". Hamodia. Jerusalem. p. 6.
- Otis, John (December 18, 2014). "In Latin America, Not Everyone Is Thrilled with the U.S.–Cuba Thaw". All Things Considered. NPR. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- "Reacciones en el mundo por normalización de relaciones entre Cuba y EEUU" (in Spanish). Instituto Cubano por la LIbertad de Expresión y de Prensa. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- Goldberg, Jeffrey (December 21, 2014). "Canada's Foreign Minister: U.S. Influence Will Make Cuba Better". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
- van Hall, Karey & Heavey, Susan (December 22, 2014). "U.S. Sees Cuban Thaw Boosting Odds of Returned Fugitives". Reuters.
- "Cuban Thaw May Unlock New Oil Fields". The New Zealand Herald. Aukland. December 22, 2014. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015.
- Levinson, Mason & Novy-Williams, Eben (December 18, 2014). "Cuban Thaw Seen Creating 'Open Season' on Signings for MLB Teams". Bloomberg Business.
- Allen, Michael; Vyas, Kejal. "Real-Estate Revolution Hits Cuba". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
- Vyas, Kejal. "Cubans Say 'Nyet' to Russian, Hoping to Learn English". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
- The New Republic, The Cuban Thaw Is Obama's Finest Foreign Policy Achievement to Date, by Joel Gillin, April 13, 2015.
- The US-Cuban thaw: Lessons from Southeast Asia, July–September 2015, Thomas Pepinsky
- "Broad Recognition that Cuba Should Never Have Been Listed as a State Sponsor of Terrorism". Granma. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- "Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Relations General Director for the United States, Josefina Vidal Ferreiro". Granma. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- Office of the Press Secretary (June 16, 2017). "Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba". whitehouse.gov. Washington, D.C.: White House. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
- "Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba" (PDF). Federal Register. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. June 16, 2017. Archived from the original on October 20, 2017. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
- Fisher, Adam (June 17, 2017). "Trump 'canceling' Obama's Cuba policy but leaves much in place". ABC News. New York City: ABC. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
- Merica, Dan (June 17, 2017). "Trump unveils new restrictions on travel, business with Cuba". CNN. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
- Holland, Steve (June 16, 2017). "Trump rolls back parts of what he calls 'terrible' Obama Cuba policy". Reuters. Canary Wharf, London: Thomson Reuters. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
- "US halts cruises to Cuba amid new restrictions". June 4, 2019. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- Press, MATTHEW LEE and MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN Associated. "Trump administration halts cruises to Cuba under new rules". www.wkyt.com. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- CNN, Patrick Oppmann and Maegan Vazquez. "Trump admin imposes new travel restrictions on Cuba, banning cruise ships". CNN. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- Reuters (June 4, 2019). "US imposes new Cuba travel restrictions including ban on cruises". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- This page is based on the Wikipedia article Cuban thaw; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.