Thousands of people attended the government-organised rally in Havana to denounce the US trade embargo and reaffirm their support for Cuba's revolution, a week after unprecedented protests rocked the communist-run country.
Havana has blamed the US sanctions for perpetuating an economic crisis that has forced people to come out in protest.
Raul Castro retires as Communist Party leader, leaving the island without a Castro guiding affairs for the first time in more than six decades, and handing control of the party to first civilian leader, Miguel Diaz-Canel.
In a speech at the opening of the 8th Congress of the ruling party, Raul Castro said he was retiring with the sense of having “fulfilled his mission and confident in the future of the fatherland.”
Opponents said prohibiting flights would simply make it harder for Cuban-Americans to visit their families outside the capital, without making a significant impact on the Cuban government.
Cubans have overwhelmingly ratified a new constitution that enshrines the one-party socialist system as irrevocable while instituting modest economic and social changes.
The constitution maintains Cuba as a centrally planned economy ruled by a single Communist Party but recognises private property for the first time.
MLB, the Cuban federation and the Major League Baseball Players Association say they have signed the deal after three years of negotiations, providing a ray of light during a period of fraught US-Cuban relations.
State-run telecoms monopoly announced Cubans will be offered full internet access for mobile phones beginning this week.
The new cabinet named by the new President Miguel Diaz-Canel has a majority of ministers from predecessor Raul Castro including in the key posts of defense, interior and foreign relations, signaling continuity rather than change.
A 39-year-old Boeing 737 with 110 people aboard crashed and burned in a cassava field just after taking off for a domestic flight, leaving three survivors in Cuba's worst aviation disaster in three decades.
The recent Summit of the Americas and the transition of power in Cuba are just two events among a number of political shifts taking place in Latin America. Do the shifts indicate that the region can prevent another lost decade?
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