#AceNewsReport – WASHINGTON (AP) July.20: Cuba’s blue, red and white-starred flag was hoisted Monday at the country’s embassy in Washington in a symbolic move signaling the start of a new post-Cold War era in U.S.-Cuba relations.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez presided over the flag-raising ceremony hours after full diplomatic relations with the United States were restored at the stroke of midnight, when an agreement to resume normal ties on July 20 took effect. Earlier, without ceremony, the Cuban flag was hung in the lobby of the State Department alongside those of other countries with which the U.S. has diplomatic ties.
U.S. and Cuban diplomats in Washington and Havana had also noted the upgrade in social media posts.
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#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES – June 01 – Five Taliban detainees released in exchange for a US Army sergeant will spend a year in Qatar, AFP reports. US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel earlier credited Qatar and its emir with securing the sergeant’s release, who had been held in Taliban captivity for 5 years.
The five detainees transferred from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba had reportedly been officials in the Taliban regime driven out by the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and they remained influential, a Taliban source told AFP.
Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar called the prisoner swap a “big victory.”
RT – AFP
#AceWorldNews – COLUMBIA – May 17 – The Colombian government and the FARC rebel group have agreed on a plan to deal with the South American country’s illegal drugs trade.
The deal is third in a six-point peace agreement being negotiated between the two sides in Cuba. FARC, which controls large areas of territory in rural Colombia, is believed to fund large amounts of its activity through the illegal drugs trade.
Last year, the Colombian government and the left-wing FARC group agreed to the first two points in the peace plan – land reform and political participation.
The details of Friday’s agreement will need to be discussed further by special commissions.
The peace talks were initiated by Colombian President Juan Manuel Carlos, who is seeking a second mandate in next week’s elections.
The civil war in Columbia has killed around 220,000 people over the past five decades.