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Cubans ready for first round of diplomatic talks with U.S.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 01:11

Cubans say they're optimistic as the country prepares to host historic diplomatic talks with the U.S.. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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As Cuba prepares for diplomatic talks with the U.S. this week... ...people on the streets of Havana say they're optimistic. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GRISEL MARQUEZ, SAYING: "In unity there is strength, and we think that everything is going to be much better." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ANIBAL RODRIGUEZ, SELF-EMPLOYED, SAYING: "I hope they open more businesses, that there is more tourism, that the market broadens, that food imports come in, spare parts come in, that lots of things start coming in that we need to see here in Cuba." Last month, President Barack Obama announced plans to normalize relations with Cuba's communist government... after more than five decades of hostility. Economist Joaquin Infante says renewed ties will benefit Cuba's economy. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JOAQUIN INFANTE, ECONOMIST, SAYING: "It will facilitate foreign investment from other countries, including the United States.The U.S. is a natural market for us because it's the closest." The historic diplomatic talks start Wednesday in Havana and will be led by top U.S. diplomat for Latin America, Roberta Jacobson. The U.S. will urge Cuba to lift travel restrictions on U.S. diplomats and agree to establish embassies.

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Cubans ready for first round of diplomatic talks with U.S.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 01:11