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White House says Castro visit to U.S. a possibility

A day after the U.S. said it’s possible President Barack Obama may visit longtime foe Cuba, it appears a visit by Cuban leader Raul Castro to the U.S. is not out of the question either.

“The president has had the leaders of both Burma and China to the United States. And for that reason, I wouldn’t rule out a visit from President Castro,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday.

Following Wednesday’s announcement that the countries would work toward normalizing relations that were severed in 1961, Roberta Jacobson, the State Department’s western hemisphere chief, said that necessary steps to establish an embassy in Cuba would be done “as soon as possible.”

That includes an exchange of letters, and ending a 53-year agreement with the Swiss government to provide protection for officials in each other’s countries.

Jacobson said that changes to policies announced Wednesday are likely to take “days, or weeks, certainly not months.” Prior to going into effect, they first have to be published in the Federal Register, the official daily journal of the U.S. government that contains rules and notices.

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