Guest blogger Melissa Lockhart reviews a year of what she calls big change in Cuba, little change in US policy.
But where will Rene Gonzalez, convicted of spying for the Cuban government, go? A Florida judge has ordered he must serve three years of probation in the US, after spending 13 years behind bars.
An exchange of ambassadors is part of Obama's policy of engagement over confrontation.
The region's democracies need to be defended, as does US nurturing of liberty