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Fidel Castro appears to approve US talks in letter

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro appears approve his nation's talks with the US in a letter published on the website of Cuba's Communist Party newspaper Granma.

A student reads from the letter attributed to former Cuban leader Fidel Castro Credit: Reuters

The 88-year-old is quoted as saying: "I don't trust the policy of the United States nor have I had an exchange with them, but this does not mean ... a rejection of a peaceful solution to conflicts or the dangers of war."

Cuba's current president Raul Castro has been holding high-level talks with the US government since the two countries announced a rapprochement on 17th December.

Fidel Castro was forced into retirement in 2008 by poor health and was succeeded by his brother Raul, who is now 83.

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Cuban man jailed by US for spying would 'welcome Obama visit'

It has been a week of historic diplomacy in the Cuban capital.

Tonight, the extraordinary changes taking place between the USA and Cuba are illustrated in the words of a Cuban man who is hailed as a hero in his country after being jailed in the US for spying.

He has told ITV News that he would welcome a visit to Havana by President Barack Obama.

ITV News' Washington Correspondent Robert Moore has this report:

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Cuba frees 53 political prisoners in deal with US

Recently released dissidents Aide Gallardo (L) and Sonia Garro hold the Cuban national flag during a march in Havana January 11, 2015. Credit: Reuters

Cuba has completed the release of all 53 political prisoners it had promised the US it would free, Reuters have reported.

In a major step towards normalising relations with the United States, he release of the remaining detainees overcomes a big hurdle for historic talks aimed a reconciling the two nations.

There had been questions whether Havana would release all those it had pledged to free as part of the deal that Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced on 17 December to restore diplomatic ties, which Washington severed more than 50 years ago.

The White House welcomed Cuba's action as a milestone, but senior US officials said Washington would keep pressing Havana to free more people they consider political prisoners.

Castro sets up potential Obama meeting at summit

Cuban President Raul Castro has confirmed he will participate in the Washington-backed Summit of the Americas in Panama in April, potentially setting up his first meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama since the two countries agreed on Wednesday to re-establish diplomatic ties.

Freed Cuban agents given heroes' welcomes as they land

Thee Cuban intelligence agents have been given heroes' welcomes as they landed back in their homeland after 16 years in prison in the US.

The men were given heroes' welcomes as they landed back in Cuba after 16 years Credit: Reuters

The men were released as part of a prisoner swap between the two countries, which heralded the start of a major policy shift to normalise relations after more than 50 years of hostility.

Gerardo Hernandez, aged 49, Antonio Guerrero, 56, and 51-year-old Ramon Labañino were greeted by Cuban President Raul Castro and throngs of family, friends and fans as they disembarked at Jose Marti International Airport.

Gerardo Hernandez greets his wife Adriana Perez O'Connor at the airport Credit: Reuters

The men - together with two others already released - are jointly referred to as the 'Cuban Five', and are celebrated as anti-terrorist heroes for their work spying on extremist Cuban exile groups in Florida.

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