World Bulletin / News Desk
Cuban telecommunications monopoly Etecsa Friday authorized Cubans to send text messages to the United States, lifting a restriction which has long frustrated the population.
It also stressed that the $0.60 charge for sending messages to the US is "similar to other international destinations."
More than two million Cubans live in other countries. With most in the United States, the lack of a direct messaging service has been a long-time complaint.
Web-based phone and messaging services are generally not an option in a country where internet access is highly restricted.
The announcement comes at a delicate time for the two countries, which reestablished diplomatic relations in 2015 after half a century of tension.
After the historic reconciliation, Washington eased the embargo in place since 1962, and authorized US telecommunications companies to sell their services in Cuba.
In February 2015, Etecsa and the United States' IDT Domestic Telecom, Inc, reached an agreement which set the ball rolling on the first direct telecommunications connection between Cuba and the US -- although it was initially only for landline telephone calls.
However, ties between the two countries have newly deteriorated over alleged "acoustic attacks" against US diplomats in Havana.
In September, the US State Department reduced the number of embassy personnel by half, suspended visa services, and expelled over a dozen diplomats from the Cuban embassy in Washington.
President Donald Trump in November also announced the implementation of new economic sanctions and travel restrictions on the island.
55 terrorists neutralized, 20 caves, 42 shelters destroyed since operation launched in Hakurk, Kani Rash regions
Defense secretary remarks come after a meeting with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia at Pentagon
The latest crisis laying siege to the leading online social network has raised the specter that he has lost control of his creation and been naive about the unintended consequences of people sharing so much about themselves.
Lawmakers stared down a self-imposed deadline of midnight Friday, when federal funding was set to expire, and passed the mammoth package by a vote of 65-32, with hours to spare.
Allowing Peshmerga to vote twice in upcoming polls would violate Iraq’s national charter, Turkmen politician asserts
Case against Turkish President’s seven bodyguards over brawl in Washington was dismissed, says lawyer
Antonio Guterres says one in four people will live countries where lack of fresh water will be chronic or recurrent by 2050
Energy secretary says US should get ahead before Russia or China builds civil nuclear capability in the Kingdom
Negative impact on Chinese gowth would be greater if US expands tariffs and protectionist measures, rating agency warns
'We look forward to continuing our conversations' with Turkey, Heather Nauert says
Trump took to Twitter to announce the latest in a cascade of staff changes, one which calls the future of a landmark deal to curb Iran's nuclear program into serious doubt.
Humanitarian Relief Foundation has provided water to over 3M people across 36 countries
Before his removal by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) on Wednesday evening Iranian Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad was the head of Pilatus, the bank at the heart of a corruption scandal exposed by murdered Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Gunfight erupts between Hamas security forces and suspected perpetrators of Jan. 13 attempt on PM’s life
Foreign Ministry urges Iraqi officials to take necessary measures to eliminate security threats against Iraqi Turkmen
Terrorists plotting attack on Turkish military bases have been hit