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U.S.-Cuban skateboard diplomacy

Friday, March 13, 2015 - 01:02

U.S. donations of skateboards and equipment for Cuban youngsters help strengthen the thin ice of relations between the two. Paul Chapman reports.

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It may look like any scene of skateboarding enthusiasts honing their skills. But this is the Cuban capital, Havana, and these Cuban skateboarders are being given new equipment by a group of American visitors. (SOUNDBITE)(English) MILES JACKSON, CUBA SKATE CO-ORDINATOR, SAYING: "Cuba Skate is a project that we started in 2010 after studying abroad here and it's to help support Cuban skaters and build diplomacy between our two countries." Cuba Skate is a non-profit organisation based in Washington D.C. It donates equipment to Cuba's budding skateboarders who often have trouble getting what they need locally. (SOUNDBITE)(Spanish) 13-YEAR-OLD SKATEBOARDER JULIO CESAR REY SAYING: "I appreciate their collaboration and the help they're giving us because there are few resources here and what comes to us we use to improve our skating." The U.S. and Cuban presidents announced last December a restoration of diplomatic relations after more than half century. The skaters are hoping their efforts help things get off to a flying start.

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U.S.-Cuban skateboard diplomacy

Friday, March 13, 2015 - 01:02