Students take to the streets of Havana in celebration of an announcement by American and Cuban leaders to improve relations. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Students took to the streets of Havana on Wednesday in celebration of an announcement by the U.S. and Cuban authorities to work to improve relations. The United States plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba more than 50 years after they were severed, a major policy shift after decades of hostile ties with the communist-ruled island, President Barack Obama said. The policy shift will mean a relaxation in some aspects of commerce and transportation between the United States and Cuba, but it does not mean an end to the longstanding trade embargo, which needs U.S. congressional approval. And while travel restrictions that currently make it hard for most Americans to visit will be eased, the door will not yet be open for broad U.S. tourism on the Caribbean island. Obama discussed the changes with Cuban President Raul Castro on Tuesday in a telephone call that lasted nearly an hour. Castro spoke in Cuba as Obama made his announcement on a policy shift made possible by the release of American Alan Gross, 65, who had been imprisoned in Cuba for five years. Cuba is also releasing an intelligence agent who spied for the United States and was held for nearly 20 years, and the United States in return released three Cuban intelligence agents held in the United States.