US moves to normalise relations with Cuba
United States President Barack Obama has hailed a “new chapter” in US relations with Cuba, announcing moves to normalise diplomatic and economic ties.
Obama said the plans represented the “most significant changes in US policy towards Cuba in 50 years”.
Cuban President Raul Castro welcomed the policy shift in his own national televised address.
The move includes the release of American Alan Gross by Cuba and three Cubans jailed in Florida for spying.
Gross arrived at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington from Cuba earlier today.
Footage showed him disembarking from a US government plane onto the tarmac where he was met by a crowd.
The 65-year-old spent five years behind bars after being accused of subversion, while on a mission to bring internet services to Jewish community groups in Cuba.
The US and Cuba say he was freed on humanitarian grounds.
Obama announced measures that he said would end an “outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests”.
The US is looking to open an embassy in Havana in the coming months, he said.