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    U.S. re-establishes diplomatic ties with Cuba after 53 years

    President Barack Obama struck a deal with Cuban Prime Minister Raul Castro to restore diplomacy once again between the United States and Cuba on Dec. 17 after 53 years of hostility. After a year of secret talks in Canada and the Vatican, ending with an hour-long talk between Obama and Castro, the leaders agreed on a prisoner swap. The Cuban government released two people, a subcontractor who was imprisoned for five years and an unnamed intelligence asset believed to be Rolando Trujillo, a spy working for the Central Intelligence Agency, who was imprisoned for 20 years. In return, the U.S. released the final three members of a spy ring known as the Cuban Five who were…