National Catholic Reporter

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Raul Castro

Obama and Castro take next steps to normalize US-Cuba ties

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An hourlong meeting Saturday between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro marked the first such personal encounter between the leaders of the two neighboring countries since 1958.

The session held during the Summit on the Americas, in which Cuba participated for the first time, was the most visible step toward ending a half century of strained relations dating back to the Cuban revolution.

Applause for Obama, Francis and diplomatic relations with Cuba

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I applaud President Barack Obama's historic step to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. He displayed courage and boldness in doing so.

There is no reason why we should not have formal ties with Cuba, 90 miles from the U.S., while we have ties with other countries with which we have disagreements over certain matters. I'm thinking of China; Vietnam, with whom we fought a war with that led to almost 60,000 American soldiers being killed; or Saudi Arabia, one of the most undemocratic countries in the world.

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