#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.
Ace Worldwide News
#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.
#AceWorldNews – HAVANA – May 07 – Four Miami-based Cuban nationals have been detained in Cuba.
Having planned to carry out attacks on Cuba’s military facilities.
Cuban newspaper Granma reported on Wednesday that the suspects were detained on April 26 by the forces of the Interior Ministry.
Jose Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodriguez Gonzalez, Raibel Pacheco Santos and Felix Monzon Alvarez were detained in the midst of their preparations for terrorist activity on the national territory of Cuba, the newspaper said.
The suspects admitted that they “planned to attack military facilities to provoke violence.”
Granma reported that three out of four suspects have visited Cuba several times from mid-2013 to plan the execution of planned terrorist attacks.
The suspects said the plan of the attack were developed by three others in Miami who have close ties with infamous terrorist Posada Carriles.
Granma (ENG) – Pertinent contact with appropriate United States authorities was made, in order to investigate these events and prevent, in a timely fashion, the actions of such individuals and terrorist organizations based in that country, which endanger the lives and security of persons in both nations.
#AceWorldNews – HAVANA – April 13 – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has arrived in Havana for a brief visit aimed at strengthening ties with Cuba. “This is the first time in 31 years that the head of French diplomacy is on an official trip to Cuba,” Fabius told reporters.
“France wants to strengthen its ties with all of South America and, in this context, we wanted relations to be strengthened in particular with Cuba.” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez pledged his “willingness to continue to work on common goals” with France, AFP reports.
“Today we note a favourable development — and great potential – in our bilateral relations.”
#AceWorldNews – NEW YORK – April 03 – The US government secretly funded the establishment of Cuban Twitter in 2009. The social network designed to undermine the government in Cuba. Associated Press conducted its own investigation into the circumstances of the operation and reported about it.
The project ZunZuneo by Agency for International Development ( USAID) was carried out for three years and has attracted tens of thousands of subscribers.
The main aim was to create a short message service which could circumvent existing in Cuba restrictions on access to the Internet.
The role of the US government carefully concealed. The target audience of Twitter has become mostly young people.
The Project stopped in 2012 because of insufficient funding. USAID officials refused to provide information about who had approved the program or whether the White House was aware of it.
According to (USAID) spokesman Matt Herrick said only the United States Congress was aware of the project and found it consistent with US law.
#AceWorldNews – March 29 – Russia has no plans to create naval and military bases abroad like American facilities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview on Saturday News with Sergei Brilyov on Russian television.
Commenting on reports that Russia allegedly planned to open bases on the Seashells, in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Cuba and Argentina, Lavrov said “It is not true at all. We have no plans to create naval and military bases abroad in the meaning you understand the term.”
“The Navy has strengthened significantly in Russia, and I think, after the joining of Crimea to Russia, it will have much more potentialities for development,” he noted. Aside from the Black Sea Fleet, we have the Far Eastern, Northern and other fleets,” he said.
“It is very important for the state to have the navy on the highest level of training, especially when the fleet has not only to cross oceans for training, but carry out specific tasks to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates appear in other parts of the world ocean. The fleet makes long trips.”
“We have agreed with some countries for our vessels and naval ships to use their existing infrastructure for calls, service, minor repair, replenishment of food and water reserves and rest of crews,” Lavrov explained. “Construction of bases like American ones is out of the question.
Any agreements like those concluded by Americans to ensure immunity for their servicemen from crimes in the country of their presence are also out of the question,” he noted.
Russian News and Media Services
#AceWorldNews says that six luxury humidors fetched more than $1.1 million Saturday at the gala closing the 16th annual Cigar Festival in Havana.
The humidors were packed with Montecristo and other prestigious cigars along with a painting by Cuban artist Zaida del Rio.
As in past years, the $1,102,210 in proceeds went to Cuba’s public health services, said Habanos SA, the exclusive distributor of Cuban cigars in 150 countries.
The festival, which featured tours of tobacco plantations and cigar factories, culminated with a gala dinner and auction that began Friday and lasted into the early morning hours Saturday.
British singer Tom Jones performed at the event, held on the PABEXPO fairgrounds on the outskirts of Havana.
Habanos SA is a joint venture between Cuban state company Cubatabaco and the Franco-Spanish Altadis that was bought in 2008 by the British Imperial Tobacco Group.
As the festival opened on Monday, Habanos SA reported that Cuban cigar sales were up eight percent in 2013, reaching $447 million, with strongest market gains in China.
Tobacco is one of Cuba’s top exports, behind nickel and biotech products.
#AceWorldNews says a second member of the “Cuban Five” spy ring was released Thursday from a US prison, AP said.
Fifty-year-old Fernando Gonzalez also known by his alias, Ruben Campa, completed his sentence in Safford, Ariz., after spending more than 15 years behind bars.
He will be deported to Cuba as soon as possible, said Michelle Alvarez, spokeswoman for the Miami US Attorney’s Office.
The five men, who are hailed as heroes in Cuba, were convicted in 2001 in Miami on charges including conspiracy and failure to register as foreign agents in the US.
They were accused of trying to infiltrate US military bases.
#AceWorldNews says `Majority of Americans Support Normalizing Relations with Cuba according to the latest poll‘
English: Coat of arms of Cuba. Español: Escudo de Cuba. Русский: Герб Кубы. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A strong majority of Americans support normalizing relations with Cuba, Reuters reported, citing a poll released on Tuesday by the Atlantic Council.
The poll, carried out by the Washington-based think tank, found that 56 percent of respondents nationally favored changing the US’s Cuba policy. The number rose to 63 percent when just counting Florida residents.
On Friday, Florida’s former Republican Governor Charlie Crist said in a TV interview that he supports lifting the embargo with Cuba.