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THE BUZZ: FLORIDA POLITICS

In a White House photograph, President Barack Obama speaks on the phone in the Oval Officewith President Raul Castro of Cuba one day before the announcement Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, of restored diplomatic relations. The call was a dramatic turning point in a relationship that has faded in significance since the Cold War era but still remained a thorn in the side of multiple presidents. [Photo by White House photographer Pete Souza via the New York Times]

Presidents, popes and spies: How the thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations came about

WASHINGTON — The historic deal that freed an American jailed in Cuba and ended 53 years of diplomatic estrangement between the United States and Cuba was blessed at the highest levels of the Holy See but cut in the shadowy netherworld of espionage. A personal appeal from Pope Francis was critical in persuading Cuba …

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