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Live Reporting

By Jasmine Coleman and Ashley Gold

All times stated are UK

  1. Obama and the dissidents

    Tara McKelvey

    BBC News, Havana

    President Obama with dissidents
    Image caption: Mr Obama met with dissidents on his last day in Cuba

    President Obama met with a prominent Cuban dissident, Berta Soler, on Tuesday, as Cuban President Raul Castro denies that the country has political prisoners.

    One dissident, Elizardo Sanchez, was detained at Jose Marti International Airport on the day a group of US journalists arrived. He was released shortly afterwards. By the time the journalists arrived, things looked calm – as if nothing had happened.

    Cuba experts say there’s a reason for the arrests. “There’s a string of people – the old guard – who are not really thrilled about the opening,” says Eric Olson, a director at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, describing the new relationship between the US and Cuba.

    “How do you control it? Some of it is done by exerting their power,” Mr Olson says, explaining that these officials try to show that they are still in control by arresting the activists.

    At times, though, it seems like “shadow boxing”, a term that Mr Obama has used to describe the relationship between the two countries.

    US officials tell me privately they knew beforehand that the activists would be arrested. The activists themselves had told the Americans what they planned to do – and that they would be arrested.

    Still Obama administration officials the situation has improved, despite these setbacks. 

  2. Scenes from inside President Obama's speech

    Barbara Plett Usher

    BBC News, Washington

    Gran Teatro
    Image caption: The speech took place in Havana's magnificent neo-classical Gran Teatro
    Roberta Jacobson
    Image caption: Roberta Jacobson savoring the moment: she negotiated the details of détente as the State Department’s top official for the Western Hemisphere
    Faces you don’t often see: Alicia Alonso, the Grande Dame of Cuban ballet – the Gran Teatro is named after; and Miguel Diaz Canel on the far right, possible successor of Raul Castro
    Image caption: Faces you don’t often see: Alicia Alonso, the Grande Dame of Cuban ballet – the Gran Teatro is named after; and Miguel Diaz Canel on the far right, possible successor of Raul Castro
    Standing ovation as President Obama strides onto the stage
    Image caption: Standing ovation as President Obama strides onto the stage
    Obama in Cuba
    Image caption: Obama sums up his message to the Cuban people and government: the ideals of any revolution – American or Cuban – find their truest expression in democracy
    A Cuban American wipes away tears as President Obama speaks about the pain of exile and the need for reconciliation
    Image caption: A Cuban American wipes away tears as President Obama speaks about the pain of exile and the need for reconciliation
    Raul Castro getting his own applause. The Cuban President clapped when Mr Obama mentioned the December 2014 rapprochement, not when he said its full benefits couldn’t be realized without change in Cuba too
    Image caption: Raul Castro getting his own applause. The Cuban President clapped when Mr Obama mentioned the December 2014 rapprochement, not when he said its full benefits couldn’t be realized without change in Cuba too
  3. Obama meets Cuban dissidents

    Berta Soler
    Image caption: Berta Soler, leader of Ladies in White, was among the activists who met the US president

    Before the baseball game, President Obama met privately with about a dozen Cuban dissidents at the US Embassy. He noted that some of them had been detained, and praised their "extraordinary courage". Among the participants was Berta Soler, leader of Ladies in White, a protest group.

    Read more: Who are Ladies in White?

  4. US congressman: 'Cubans yearn for freedom'

    Suzanne Kianpour

    BBC News, Havana

    Seth Moulton

    Congressman Seth Moulton is in Cuba for the first time as part of a group of 30 plus US lawmakers made up of Democrats and - albeit less so - Republicans. It's a bit like a class trip - a mix of both work and play.

    "The point is to get to know the Cuban people and to get to know the culture because that's what Americans are going to be doing when they come here," he told me earlier.

    In between official White House visit business, like a state dinner, and congressional meetings they've managed to squeeze in some fun - shopping in Old Havana, lunch in downtown, even a rock concert.

    "This is a fantastic country and you see it in the Cuban people, " he says. 

    "We're seeing in the Cuban faces a yearning for freedom and democracy. There's hope this visit will bring that to them." 

    But there's still a fight to be had when the lawmakers return to Capitol Hill - lifting the embargo is something the Democratic congressman feels strongly about.

    "The embargo hasn't worked - we've been trying a policy for 50 years that hasn't brought a change to the people. So it's time to try something different."

  5. Obama: Time for US and Cuba to 'leave the past behind'

    Here's a recap on President Obama's speech earlier in Havana. Drawing his address to a close, he said it was time for the US and Cuba to "leave the past behind".

    He said that while changing relations between the US and Cuba would not be easy, his trip to Havana "renews my hope...we can make this journey as friends, as neighbours".

    Video content

    Video caption: Obama: Time for US and Cuba to 'leave the past behind'
  6. The view from the stands

    Fans are gathering at Estadio Latinoamericano baseball stadium for the upcoming Tampa Bay Rays exhibition game against the Cuban national team.

    View more on twitter
  7. 'Vintage Obama' in Cuba speech

    Tara McKelvey

    BBC News, Havana

    People applaud

    The speech in the theatre was vintage Obama - it had a narrative, starting with the earlier, dark years of US-Cuban relations that date back to the 1950s. 

    It also had personal elements - he said he was born in the year of the Bay of Pigs, and that afterwards the world nearly came to an end. 

    Finally it had evocative language - "I know the history, but refuse to be trapped by it" - and a few jokes. And it built up to his larger point, which was his message for the Cuban people - choose democracy. It isn't perfect but it's the best system there is.

    He was a powerful speaker in the theatre, and he gave a speech that was eloquent and moving. 

  8. People stand and cheer

    Tara McKelvey

    BBC News, Havana

    Obama waves to crowd

    People in the audience stand up and cheer - both for Obama after he finished speaking and for Castro who stands up in the balcony and waves.

    Raul Castro
  9. Obama: Time to look to the future

    "It's time for us to leave the past behind and look forward to the future together," says Mr Obama, wrapping up his remarks in Cuba. "My time here renews my hope and confidence in what the Cuban people will do."