Puerto Rico's Governor Alejandro García Padilla. (YouTube, screenshot)

Top Story — Puerto Rico’s government submitted a budget request on Wednesday of around $9.8 billion, representing austerity cuts of some $674 million as the U.S. territory continues to face a harsh financial crisis after eight years of economic recession. Struggling under the weight of $72 billion in public debt, the island’s Governor Alejandro García…

Cuban President Raúl Castro meets with U.S. President Barack Obama during the seventh Summit of the Americas. (Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, public domain)

Top Story — Cuban leader Raúl Castro said on Tuesday that the U.S. and Cuba will exchange ambassadors after the U.S. removes Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, a sign that efforts by two countries’governments to normalize relations are proceeding. Castro made the announcement at Havana’s after the departure of international airport…

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. (Marc A. Hermann/New York City MTA, CC BY 2.0)

Top Story — Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York state, visited Cuba Monday to lobby for increased commercial ties between his state’s businesses and the island nation, despite the continued existence of a broader economic embargo targeting the latter. Cuomo and his delegation met on Monday with several top Cuban officials, including Rodrigo Malmierca…

Havana, Cuba, in March 2014. Removing Cuba from a list of stats sponsoring terrorism has been a sticking point in diplomatic talks with the United States.Gereth Williams, CC BY 2.0)

Top Story — U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced his intention to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, the latest step taken toward the normalization of relations between the two countries, and one that may hasten the process of restoring full diplomatic ties. The announcement had been anticipated since…

Cuban President Raúl Castro meets with U.S. President Barack Obama during the seventh Summit of the Americas. (Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, public domain)

Top Story — U.S. President Barack Obama met with Cuban leader Raúl Castro on Saturday, the first time the two countries’ heads of state have been face-to-face since Cuba’s 1959 revolution. The meeting set the tone for the seventh Summit of the Americas, where regional leaders were notably muted in their usual criticism of the…

U.S. President Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raúl Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral in December 2013 (Youtube, Screenshot).

Top Story — The Summit of The Americas begins today in Panama, and historic diplomatic talks between the United States and Cuba are at the center of attention as the two countries’ presidents will make their first appearance together, joining some 30 other leaders from the region to discuss the theme of “prosperity with equity.”…

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Top Story — The assistant secretary of state and highest-ranking U.S. diplomat for Latin America, Roberta Jacobson, expressed concern over the silencing of dissident voices in Cuba, following reports that over 100 anti-government protesters were arrested over the weekend. Fifty-three members of the prominent dissident group Ladies in White were arrested on Sunday — according…

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UPDATE: The Haitian government has cancelled the last day of Carnival celebrations, and declared three days of mourning following Tuesday’s accident. UPDATE 2: The number of reported dead following the accident on Tuesday has been lowered to 16 from the originally reported 18. At least 18 Carnival revelers were killed early Tuesday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti,…

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Top Story — A two-day strike in protest of high fuel prices in Haiti left the streets of Port-au-Prince abnormally deserted on Monday, after organizers told citizens they would be risking their lives if they drove on the streets. An influential minibus drivers’ union teamed up with anti-government protesters to call for the two-day strike…

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Top Story — Thousands in the Dominican Republic could be made effectively stateless by the expiration at midnight on Monday of a deadline for those born to undocumented foreigners to apply for legal status, Amnesty International warned. As many as 200,000 people, mostly descended from Haitian immigrants, could now face deportation even though they were…