US President Barack Obama has hailed a “new chapter” in US relations with Cuba, announcing moves to normalise diplomatic and economic ties.
Mr Obama said Washington’s current approach was “outdated” and the changes were the “most significant” in US policy towards Cuba in 50 years.
Cuban President Raul Castro said he welcomed the shift in a TV address.
The move includes the release of US contractor Alan Gross and three Cubans held in the US.
Wednesday’s announcements follow more than a year of secret talks in Canada and at the Vatican, directly involving Pope Francis.
The US is looking to open an embassy in Havana in the coming http://www.healthynewhair.com/buy-propecia-online/ months, Mr Obama said.
The plans set out in a White House statement also include:
Reviewing the designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism
Easing a travel ban for US citizens
Easing financial restrictions
Increasing telecommunications links
Efforts to lift the 54-year-old trade embargo
Mr Castro said the changes were something Cuba had been pressing for for a long time.
“Ever since my election… I have reiterated on many occasions our preparedness to hold a respectful dialogue with the government of the United States based on sovereign equality,” he said.