December 17, 2014 / 4:06 PM / 4 years ago

Obama seeks to end Cuba trade embargo - congressional source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama plans to begin the process of lifting a long-standing U.S. trade embargo against Cuba as part of a series of major policy moves toward the Caribbean island, a congressional source said on Wednesday.

The source, who asked not to be identified, also said that the United States is trading three Cuban prisoners for one CIA prisoner who has been held in Cuba for the past 20 years.

American citizen Alan Gross, who has been held in a Cuban jail, is now flying to the United States, escorted by three members of the U.S. Congress: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat; Republican Senator Jeff Flake; and Representative Chris Van Hollen, a senior Democrat in the House.

Reporting By Richard Cowan; Editing by Susan Heavey

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