President Barack Obama eases restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba, allowing Cuban-Americans to send unlimited funds to family and non-family members in Cuba and permitting travel there for religious and educational purposes.
Alan Gross, a U.S. government subcontractor, is arrested in Cuba after making several trips to the island, during which he imported and distributed satellite phones, computers, and modems designed to circumvent detection in violation of Cuban law. Gross is convicted for attempting to “undermine the integrity and independence of Cuba and sentenced to fifteen years in prison.
1.1.1 2012 Cuba Lifts Exit Visa Restrictions
Amid a slew of other economic reforms, Raúl Castro’s government removes bureaucratic requirements for Cubans to obtain government permission to travel abroad.
18.104.22.168 January 2014 Cuba Hosts CELAC Summit
Cuba hosts the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) two-day summit, during which Latin American and Caribbean leaders discuss trade, peace and human rights. CELAC is considered a regional alternative to the Organization of American States (OAS), from which Cuba’s membership has been suspended since 1962.
22.214.171.124.1 December 17, 2014 United States and Cuba Move to Restore Diplomatic Ties
U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announce the restoration of full diplomatic ties following a swap of a U.S. intelligence officer who had been held in Havana for the three remaining Cuban Five prisoners. U.S. subcontractor Alan Gross, jailed since 2009, is released at the same time. The prisoner exchange and release of Gross (pictured left) comes after nearly eighteen months of secret talks between U.S. and Cuban officials that Pope Francis helped broker. Obama says the United States plans to open an embassy in Havana. Members of the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress condemn the move and vow to uphold the economic embargo.
126.96.36.199.1.1 May 29, 2015 Cuba Removed From Terrorism List
The U.S. State Department removes Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. The designation, first imposed in 1982, had prevented Cuba from accessing international finance and had been a sticking point in U.S.-Cuba talks on normalizing relations. President Barack Obama called for Cuba’s removal from the list in April, after the State Department found that Cuba had not sponsored terrorism in recent years and had vowed not to do so. Obama's April announcement came days after he met with Cuban leader Raul Castro on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas, the first face-to-face discussion between U.S. and Cuban heads of state in more than half a century.
188.8.131.52.1.1.1 20, 2015 The United States and Cuba Reopen Embassies
The United States and Cuba reopen embassies in each other’s capitals. Both had been closed since 1961. The U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, which cannot be lifted without congressional approval, remains in place. Neither country appoints an ambassador upon the embassies’ reopening. The top U.S. diplomat in Havana is the charge d’affaires, Jeffrey DeLaurentis. Cuba’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, oversees the reopening of Havana’s embassy in Washington.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 February 2016 Commercial Flights Restored
The United States and Cuba sign an agreement to allow commercial flights between the two countries for the first time in more than fifty years. U.S. officials say they expect to decide on airline routes by the summer; Cuban airlines were not expected to offer flights to the United States in the near future due to U.S. regulations and the risk of seizure. Days after the agreement was reached, the White House announces that President Barack Obama would travel to Cuba in March 2016, marking the first time in nearly ninety years that a sitting U.S. president will visit the island nation.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 March 2016 - President Obama travels to Cuba