5-speed listening (Level 2)

Major breakthrough in US-Cuba relations






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New relations are starting between the USA and Cuba. The two countries have had very little contact for over fifty years. That changed on Wednesday. President Barack Obama said he wanted to get the relationship with Cuba back to normal. One of the first things he wants to do is to put back diplomatic and economic ties. He said: "Today, America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past." Cuban President Raul Castro said: "We have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations." The two sides have had secret talks for more than a year. These included help from Pope Francis.

The USA announced how it would reset relations. It will no longer say that Cuba sponsors terrorism. It will be easier for Americans to travel to and do business in Cuba. There will also be better Internet and communication links. A big change is the ending of a 54-year-old trade embargo. This stopped US goods going to Cuba and Cuban goods going to the USA. Mr Castro said he has worked hard to restore ties with the USA. He said he hoped the two countries could share a brighter future. He told reporters: "We must learn the art of coexisting with our differences in a civilised manner."

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