Darth Vader was named postmaster for the day at a postal office in Tokyo on July 1, 2008. Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters/File
Easter bunnies Olli (Gabi Rokyta) and Lotti (Steffi Ruecker) receive and answer letters to the Easter Bunny from kids abroad and in Germany on Feb. 22, 2010. Matthias Weber/Newscom
Mail trucks sit swamped behind the Slidell, Louisiana, Post Office after Hurricane Katrina roared through the city Aug. 29, 2005. Andy Nelson/The Christian Science Monitor/File
South Korean postmen dressed as Santa Claus ride delivery bikes as they launch an event to visit and give Christmas gifts to neighborhoods at the Central Post Office in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 21, 2009. Lee Jin-man/AP/File
A passerby drops mail into the U.S. Postal Service mail box painted to resemble the R2D2 droid, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, Mar. 16, 2007. The postal service transformed 400 mail boxes nationwide into the R2D2 look-a-likes in advance of their plans to issue a stamp commemorating 'Star Wars'. Nick Ut/AP/File
A tiled picture of Saddam Hussein taken on Feb 19, 2010, at a post office in Baghdad, Iraq. Jane Sweeney/Lonely Planet Images/Newscom
U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Jack Chen sits in his stuck vehicle as he waits for some help from a local resident to get him out of the mud in Tujunga, Calif., Jan. 21, 2010. Hans Gutknecht/AP
Postal Service letter carrier Scott Peters gets a face full of ice and snow while making his mail deliveries in Lewiston, Maine, on Feb. 14, 2007. Jose Leiva/AP
People dressed as elves post mark letters with the stamp from Santa Claus' Post Office on the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, northern Finland, Dec. 18, 2007. Kacper Pempel/Reuters
Today's announcement of restored diplomatic ties between Cuba and the US comes after five decades of antagonism, including the 54-year-old US trade embargo against the Communist island. The Christian Science Monitor covered the embargo from the start.
ByBertram B. Johansson, Latin America Writer
Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
Today, President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced that the United States and Cuba are restoring diplomatic ties after five decades of antagonism. The US has maintained a trade embargo against Cuba since Oct. 19, 1960. Below is The Christian Science Monitor's story from that day.