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  Monday, August 26, 2019
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The leaders of Costa Rica and El Salvador have announced plans
The leaders of Costa Rica and El Salvador have announced plans to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba, suspended after Fidel Castro's revolutionaries successfully overthrew the Batista government in 1959, local media said.

Costa Rica and El Salvador were the only Central American nations still refusing to recognize the Cuban government. Costa Rica broke off ties with Havana in 1961 and El Salvador in 1959.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias said: "Today there is no sense of pretending that we are officially at a distance from each other." "We cooperate in various areas, we support consular and trade relations with Havana and have direct air links," he said.

Salvadoran President-elect Mauricio Funes from the former Marxist rebel FMLN party, which won the country's presidential election on March 15, has pledged to restore ties with Cuba once in office.

The restoration of ties with Cuba was part of his election manifesto which was opposed by El Salvador's outgoing president.

"We may remain the only country in Latin America that doesn't have diplomatic relations with Cuba," Funes said.

The Obama administration has recently eased several U.S. restrictions to Cuba which were further tightened by the former-president George Bush in 2004. Under the new rules, U.S. Cubans are now able to visit their relatives in Cuba once a year, for an unlimited period. It also simplified the procedure of sending money to the island.


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