In speech, Raul Castro thanks Obama, Pope Francis

By Nick Miroff, December 17, 2014

Cuban leader Raul Castro appeared on state television at precisely noon Wednesday to announce the prisoner swap, thanking President Obama and Pope Francis for helping resolve the impasse.Seated a desk in his military uniform, with portraits of 19th-century Cuban independence heroes as the backdrop, the 83-year-old Castro read a 10-minute written statement in a stern, measured tone. It was a reminder that, at least in style, he is the opposite of his famously long-winded, firebrand older brother, Fidel.Read full article >>