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Obama, Castro hold 'candid' historic meeting in Panama

US President Barack Obama (R) and Cuba's President Raul Castro reach out to shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas at the ATLAPA Convention Center in Panama City on April 11, 2015Barack Obama and Raul Castro held the first face-to-face talks between US and Cuban leaders since 1956 in Panama, vowing to pursue their historic effort to bury Cold War-era enmity. Sitting together in a blue-carpeted room, Obama thanked Castro for his “spirit of openness and courtesy” during their interactions, while the communist leader stressed that the negotiations will require patience. Obama also sought to calm tensions with another leftist nation and a Cuban ally, speaking briefly with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for the first time, telling him Washington did not seek to threaten Caracas. “This is obviously a historic meeting,” said Obama, who spoke first after they sat down in polished, wooden chairs for their talks on the sidelines of the 35-nation Summit of the Americas in Panama City.

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