Cuba dissidents won't attend US Embassy event

August 13, 2015 12:16 AM

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WASHINGTON: Cuban dissidents, so long the center of US policy toward the island, won't be invited to Secretary of State John Kerry's historic flag-raising at the US Embassy in Havana on Friday, vividly illustrating how US policy is shifting focus to its single-party government. Kerry intends to meet more quietly with prominent activists later in the day, officials said.The Cuban government labels its domestic opponents as traitorous US mercenaries. As the two countries have moved to restore relations, Cuba has almost entirely stopped meeting with American politicians who visit dissidents during trips to Havana.

That presented a quandary for US officials organizing the ceremony on Friday to mark the reopening of the embassy on Havana's historic waterfront. Inviting dissidents would risk a boycott by Cuban officials including those who negotiated with the US after Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro decl...

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