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Obama And Raul Castro Speak By Phone

Cuban President Raul Castro listens to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (not in frame), during the ALBA Summit at the Miraflores Palace, in Caracas on March 17, 2015. (Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images)
Cuban President Raul Castro listens to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (not in frame), during the ALBA Summit at the Miraflores Palace, in Caracas on March 17, 2015. (Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s just the second time in more than 50 years that the leaders of the U.S. and Cuba are known to have spoken.

The White House confirms that President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro spoke by phone, in advance of the Summit of the Americas in Panama. The call came Wednesday, before the president left Washington.

The two leaders aren’t scheduled to meet formally while they’re in Panama, but they’re expected to interact on the sidelines of the summit.

Their first chat was in December, shortly before Obama and Castro announced plans to restore diplomatic ties. That process is currently underway.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks to Tim Padgett, Americas editor for WLRN, and Guillermo Grenier, head of the department of global and sociocultural studies at the School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University.

Guest

  • Tim Padgett, Americas editor at WLRN in Miami. He tweets @TimPadgett2.
  • Guillermo Grenier, head of the department of global and sociocultural studies at the School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University in Miami.

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