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U.S. Takes Cuba off Terror List, Paving Way for Normal Ties

By Indira Lakshmanan
Bloomberg News

U.S. State Department Removes Cuba From Terror List

The State Department removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, a largely symbolic step clearing the way for normalizing diplomatic relations 54 years after the U.S. severed ties after Cuba’s communist revolution.

Removal from the list, announced by the department on Friday, came as a matter of course because Congress made no move to block the action within 45 days after President Barack Obama unveiled plans to do so on April 14.

“While the United States has significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions, these fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation,” Jeff Rathke, a department spokesman, said in a statement.

The two nations intend to reopen embassies in Havana and Washington once officials resolve points of contention, including U.S. demands for freedom of movement for its diplomats in the island nation and Cuba’s concerns about U.S. democracy programs that it says undermine the government in Havana.

At: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-29/u-s-takes-cuba-off-terror-list-paving-the-way-for-normal-ties

Here's hoping the U.S. might realistically come off Cuba's State Sponsors of Terror list as well.(http://www.voltairenet.org/article132624.html)

Argentina opens largest cultural center in Latin America

Luiciana Bertoia
Buenos Aires Herald

The former Central Post Office Building yesterday officially became the Néstor Kirchner Cultural Center. According to President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner it houses the dreams of her administration to build a more inclusive country, she said seven months before leaving the Casa Rosada.

The ceremony was taken as an opportunity for Fernández de Kirchner to praise her cultural policy — sitting next to Culture Minister Teresa Parodi and Planning Minister Julio De Vido. “Look at what we’ve done. We want to move forward with open digital TV — which is aimed at democratizing communications — but we first need to put into practice the Broadcast Media Law,” the president yesterday said in reference to the legislation her lawmakers and their progressive allies passed in 2009 and has become one of her government’s landmark achievements.

“This was possible thanks to a prospering economy. Culture is always linked to the economy,” Fernández de Kirchner said.

*Full Name: The President Néstor Kirchner Bicentennial Cultural Center.

*Location: Bouchard 350 (downtown).

*Dimensions: 100,000 m² (1.1 million ft²) total floor space, 60 metres (197 feet) high.

*Production: Six-year construction and renovation project; employed over 1,000 workers, used over 2,000 tons of steel.

*Cost: 2.46 billion pesos (US$275 million), plus 164 million pesos (US$18 million) for art work.

*Total Capacity: 5,000 people.

*Features: 12 floors, 15,000 m² (160,000 ft²) of exhibition space, two viewing galleries, six auditoriums, 12 vestibules, 16 rehearsal rooms, 40 exhibition halls. The main “Blue Whale” Auditorium has capacity for 1,950 people.

*Admission: Free and open to the public.

*History: Former Central Post Office headquarters. The original building took 30 years to complete, and opened in 1928. Designated a National Historic Monument in 1997, it fell into disuse in 2003. (more about the Central Post Office: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buenos_Aires_Central_Post_Office)

*Claim To Fame: Largest cultural centre in Latin America; fourth-largest worldwide after the Tokyo International Forum, the Barbican Centre (London), and Centre Pompidou (Paris).

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/189789/cfk-opens-largest-cultural-centre-in-latam

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/culturaargentina/sets/72157652858377779
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