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Obama's Cuba shift opens new era in Latin America ties

Handout picture from the Panamanian Presidency shows a view of the First Plenary Session of the VII Americas Summit at the Convention Center in Panama City on April 11, 2015With a historic meeting with Cuba’s president and a brief chat with Venezuela’s leftist leader, President Barack Obama sought to turn the page on decades of rocky US ties with Latin America. The Summit of the Americas in Panama City became the stage for history-making diplomacy for Obama, who has intensified his engagement with the region in his second and final term in office. The highlight was his talks on Saturday with Cuban President Raul Castro, a more than hour-long conversation that crowned their effort to bury decades of Cold War-era hostility. He also found time for a bilateral meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who accepted an invitation to visit Washington on June 30, two years after she angrily scrapped a previous trip over a US spying scandal.

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