The United States and Cuba, enemies since the Cold War, on Wednesday announced measures to start normalizing diplomatic relations.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
• Prisoner exchange: two jailed U.S. citizens -- USAID contractor Alan Gross and a yet-unnamed intelligence agent -- and three Cuban spies imprisoned in Florida.
• A U.S. embassy in Cuba and a Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C.
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• Increased travel allowances
• U.S. citizens will be able to send cash remittances to Cuba
• The United States will consider removing the Cuba's label as a "state sponsor of terrorism"
WHAT DON'T WE KNOW YET?
A lot. One major issue: How this will affect the United States' embargo -- the various laws and sanctions against Cuba that have existed since 1960. Congress is strongly resistant to the idea.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
The prisoner exchange was the latest in a series of trust-building measures and secret talks between the U.S. and Cuba, which were negotiated in secret talks that at one point involved Pope Francis. The day before, President Barack Obama and Cuba’s leader Raúl Castro spoke on the phone for about 45 minutes, marking the first conversations between the leaders of the two countries since 1961.