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December 17, 2014

After 53 years, the United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties. Here are our all-formats coverage plans at this hour. Times in EST:

Adds new full line CUBA REACTS and underline for UNITED STATES-CUBA-TEXT; updates line for UNITED STATES-CUBA-ALAN GROSS; removes CONGRESS-MCCONNELL



WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announces the re-establishment of diplomatic relations and an easing in economic and travel restrictions on Cuba Wednesday, declaring an end to America’s “outdated approach” to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity. By Julie Pace and Matthew Lee. SENT: 1,120 words. UPCOMING: developing.


HAVANA — Bells toll in celebration and teachers halt lessons as Cubans listen to their leader announce “a wish-come-true” — normalization of ties with the United States after more than 50 years. By Anne-Marie Garcia and Andrea Rodriguez. UPCOMING: 550 words by 3 p.m.


MIAMI — Some Cuban exiles in Miami are outraged. Others are ecstatic that Obama has secretly arranged prisoner exchanges with Cuban leader Raul Castro as part of an effort to normalize relations. By Laura Wides-Munoz and Gisela Salomon. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: 700 words by 3 p.m.


WASHINGTON — Cuba frees a Cuban man who was imprisoned for nearly 20 years for spying for the United States, American officials said Wednesday as Obama announced steps toward restoring diplomatic relations. By Nedra Pickler. SENT: 500 words.


MEXICO CITY — The decision by Cuba and the United States to put their enmity behind them after 53 years — or make a go at it at least — comes at the perfect moment for both sides, with Obama turning his attention to legacy issues and Castro anxious to boost his nation’s economic fortunes. But there are risks for both men, and limits to how far each can go. An AP News Analysis. By Paul Haven. SENT: 840 words.


HAVANA — Cuban President Raul Castro says he welcomes the restoration of relations with the United States in a national broadcast speech. The Cuban leader says profound differences remain between Cuba and the U.S. in areas such as human rights, foreign policy and questions of sovereignty, but the countries have to learn to live with their differences “in a civilized manner.” Cubans cheer the news. By Andrea Rodriguez and Anne Marie-Garcia. SENT: 270 words. UPCOMING: 650 words by 3 p.m.


Obama’s announcement of plans to re-establish diplomatic ties with the Caribbean nation doesn’t mean that the island will suddenly open for tourism. It does, however, give airlines, hotel chains and cruise companies — all which have been quietly eyeing a removal of the travel ban — hope that they soon will be able to bring tourists to Cuba. By Business Writer Scott Mayerowitz. SENT: 750 words.


WASHINGTON — U.S. hotels, farmers and oil companies stand to benefit as the United States resumes economic ties with Cuba. Rum and cigar importers also will also welcome the end of the half-century economic embargo. By Economics Writer Paul Wiseman. UPCOMING: 600 words, timing uncertain.


WASHINGTON — Alan Gross emerges Wednesday from five years of captivity in Cuba praising the Cuban people and offering a lesson he said he learned: Freedom is not free. By Jessica Gresko. SENT: 370 words. UPCOMING: developing.

— CUBA-US-KEY EVENTS — Key dates in U.S. relations with Cuba. SENT: 360 words.

— CUBAN FIVE AGENTS — A look at the “Cuban Five” agents jailed in the U.S. SENT: 330 words.

— UNITED STATES-CUBA-COMMERCE — Obama says increasing travel, commerce, flow of information to benefit both Americans, Cubans. SENT: 120 words.

— UNITED NATIONS-US-CUBA — U.N. chief welcomes promise of renewed U.S.-Cuba relations. SENT: 140 words.

— CANADA-CUBA US TALKS — Canada hosted secret meetings between Cuba and the U.S. but did not play role in talks. SENT: 130 words.

— USAID-RESIGNATION — U.S. international aid chief Rajiv Shah to leave in February; oversaw secret Cuba programs. SENT: 440 words.

— UNITED STATES-CUBA-GLANCE — Key elements of Obama’s decision to shift U.S. policy, normalize relations with Cuba. SENT: 570 words.

—UNITED STATES-CUBA-QUOTE BOX — Quotes from around the world on the new U.S.-Cuba policy. SENT: 400 words.

— UNITED STATES-CUBA-TEXT — Text of Obama’s remarks on the release of Gross, future U.S.-Cuba relations. SENT: 2,350 words.


WX401, WX402 — Gross before leaving Cuba and arriving at Andrews Air Force Base. Pursuing additional imagery.

WX104 — A 2012 file photo of Gross.

NY115 — File photo of the “Cuban Five”: Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez and Ramon Labanino.

NYNYT110 —Obama speaking from the Cabinet Room at the White House.


— Demonstrators in front of the White House.

— Reaction in Little Havana and other areas of South Florida.

— Daily life in Cuba regarding announcement on change in policy.


Obama and Castro’s speeches have run in full on AP Direct. AP will deliver reactions from Havana and Cuban communities in Miami and New Jersey, together with further political reaction. Broadcast edits will run on AP Media Port, AP Video Hub, AP Video-US and the GVW. In addition to soundbites from the key speeches, AP Online Video will deliver three voiced packages:

ALAN GROSS RETURNS — The package will include Gross arriving back in the United States (See restrictions below). It will also include Obama’s speech at the White House, reaction from Gross, and Sen. Patrick Leahy. Note: Video of Gross returning to the U.S. is restricted and cannot be used by U.S. clients.

U.S.-CUBA POLICY — AP Video will move a package that will detail U.S.-Cuba policy. This package is expected to include sound from Obama and Castro, reaction with McConnell and sound with analysts.

CUBAN COMMUNITIES REACT — Story will include reaction from Miami, Union, N.J., and Havana.

Spanish-language online video packages will also be available.


US-CUBA: An interactive timeline of the U.S.-Cuba relationship. UPCOMING: 3 p.m.


Editors are posting updates to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.

The AP

Update hourly