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Obama, Raul Castro meet in Havana
[HAVANA] US President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro met Monday in Havana's Palace of the Revolution for groundbreaking talks on ending the standoff between the two neighbors.
Obama, seeing Castro only for the third time in a formal setting, was the first US president in Cuba since 1928.
Obama was greeted by a military band at the Palace of the Revolution, a building put up after the 1959 revolution that turned Cuba into a communist state. He then sat for discussions with Castro in front of a backdrop of tall tropical plants and the two countries' flags.
The United States has yet to lift its decades-old economic embargo on Havana, and Cuba continues to restrict many basic freedoms.
But despite these differences, Obama and Castro say they are ready to bury their Cold War-era conflict and work toward a complete opening of relations.