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Cuba

With the conclusion on Tuesday of the first formal talks between Cuba and the United States on human rights, both countries agreed that they were capable of holding a “respectful, professional [and] civilized conversation” on the issue of human rights.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov culminated a four-country tour of Latin America on Thursday in what was widely seen as Moscow’s latest bid to counteract Western sanctions over Russia’s policies in Ukraine and Crimea.

The U.S. Congress should help the policy change happen.

U.S.-based IDT Domestic Telecom, Inc. and the state-run telecommunications company Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba, S.A. (Cuban Telecommunications Enterprise, S.A.—ETECSA) have re-established a direct telephone link between the two countries.

Delegates from the U.S. and Cuba met at the State Department today to continue negotiations to normalize diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Cue the House of Cards metaphors. On February 9, Netflix announced via Twitter its release of content in Cuba.

The U.S. and Cuba will hold the second round of negotiations to restore diplomatic ties on February 27 in Washington D.C., State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki announced on Tuesday.

Likely top stories this week: Independent forensic team deems Mexico’s 43 missing students case inconclusive; Cuban authorities to expand Internet centers in 2015; archaeological relics uncovered along Nicaragua Canal route; a general strike in Haiti on eve of Carnival; Unasur seeks to facilitate U.S.-Venezuela dialogue.

The Russians are coming—again.

Only two countries in Latin America—Costa Rica and Uruguay—can be considered “full democracies,” according to an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study commissioned by BBC for Democracy Day on January 20.

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