The Note: What's Coming Up For Cuba

July 1, 2015, 9:17 AM


--U.S., CUBA TO ANNOUNCE EMBASSY OPENINGS IN WASHINGTON AND HAVANA: President Obama is expected to announce today that the two countries have reached an agreement to re-establish formal diplomatic relations and open embassies in Washington and Havana, a senior administration official told ABC News. Sources also said the opening could come as early as the end of July, ABC's SERENA MARSHALL reports. Preparations have been underway for weeks for the Cuban Interest Section in Washington D.C. to become an embassy. Earlier this month a new flag pole was raised outside the building for the very first time. The last time a flag flew on the property in D.C. was 1961, when diplomatic ties were broken. Last month, the U.S. removed Cuba from the list of countries supporting terrorism, where it was listed in 1982.

--RUBIO WEIGHS IN: A staunch opponent of the normalization of relations with Cuba, GOP senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio issued this statement: "It remains unclear what, if anything, has been achieved since the President's December 17th announcement in terms of securing the return of U.S. fugitives being harbored in Cuba, settling outstanding legal claims to U.S. citizens for properties confiscated by the regime, and in obtaining the unequivocal right of our diplomats to travel freely throughout Cuba and meet with any dissidents, and most importantly, securing greater political freedoms for the Cuban people. I intend to oppose the confirmation of an Ambassador to Cuba until these issues are addressed. It is time for our unilateral concessions to this odious regime to end."

--ANALYSIS -- ABC's RICK KLEIN: For reporters spending a portion of Tuesday clicking through dueling document dumps, the contrast was unmistakable - and, of course, that just might have been intentional. Jeb Bush released 33 years of his own tax returns, along with his personal email address. A partial trove of Hillary Clinton's old emails, meanwhile, were released as well - by the State Department, under court order, and under a cloud of questions about what's not included. As for what is in the emails, they show a secretary of state worried about getting iced tea and getting pesky fax machines to work, and also attuned to politics. She's at times protective of her power, worried about access, staying in touch with old allies, interested in getting credit, and even seemingly interested in how her old campaign debt was being paid down. And this is only from year one as secretary of state. Subsequent releases, to come monthly until the eve of the Iowa caucuses (!), will cover less pleasant periods of the Obama presidency. Most broadly, Clinton's personal emails reflect a Clinton network that - shock - was worried about the secretary's political viability and standing, even from the earliest days. The reading has barely begun.

TODAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC's CHRIS GOOD: Fresh off his campaign announcement yesterday, Chris Christie will be in New Hampshire today, where he's holding an endorsement event at MaryAnn's Diner in Derry at 8 am. He'll attend a house party in Bristol at 4 pm ET, hold a town-hall at the Ashland American Legion at 5 pm. Ben Carson will be in South Carolina, where he'll speak at a BBQ hosted by the Anderson County Republican Party in Anderson at 6 pm ET. Rand Paul will be in Iowa, where he'll hold a meet-and-greets at the Hilton Garden Inn in Council Bluffs at 9:30 am ET, Morningside College in Sioux City at 12 pm ET, Sioux Center Public Library in Sioux Center at 3:30 pm ET, and Barefoot Bar in Okoboji at 6:30 pm ET. Bobby Jindal will be in Iowa, where he'll visit a senior center in Council Bluffs at 3:30 pm ET and hold a town-hall in Council Bluffs at 7 pm ET. Mike Huckabee will be in Iowa, where he'll hold town-halls about religious liberty at Main Street Cafe in Council Bluffs at 12 pm ET, Minerva's Restaurant Marketplace Shopping Center in Sioux City at 3:30 pm ET, and the VFW post in Cherokee at 6:30 pm ET. Lindsey Graham holds a meet-and-greet at Godfather's Pizza in Fort Dodge, Iowa, at 4:30 pm ET. Bernie Sanders will hold a rally in an arena in Madison, Wis., Veterans Memorial Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center, at 8 pm ET.


CHRIS CHRISTIE ANNOUNCES FOR PRESIDENT WITH SWIPES AT OBAMA, CLINTON. Chris Christie is running for president, he announced yesterday at his alma mater, Livingston High School in New Jersey, becoming the 14th Republican candidate to enter the 2016 presidential race, ABC's ADAM DESIDERIO reports. "America is tired of handwringing and indecisiveness and weakness in the Oval Office," the New Jersey governor said to a cheering crowd. "We need to have strength and decision-making and authority back in the Oval office and that is why today I am proud to announce my candidacy for the Republican nomination for president of the United States of America." Standing beside him were his wife, Mary Pat, and four children. Christie touted his middle-class upbringing, willingness to "speak the truth" and make tough decisions on pension and education reforms and government spending. "I'm not looking to be prom king of America," the 52 year-old Christie said. "I mean what I say and I say what I mean and that's what America needs right now." The tough-talking moderate Republican's campaign slogan is: "Tell It Like It Is."

WHAT CHRIS CHRISTIE WAS LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reminisced on his "glory days" of high school from his alma mater yesterday as he made his presidential announcement, ABC's VERONICA STRACQUALURSI notes. "This is where we grew up, these are the fields where we played on, these are the playgrounds we played on, this is the school we built our friends with and came and learned with," Christie said of his hometown to a crowd of supporters crammed into the Livingston High School gymnasium. But what was the 52-year-old, ambitious, and big-personality governor like in his high school heydays? According to a few of his former classmates and teachers, Christie was hardly the aggressively outspoken politician you see today.

OBAMA ON IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS: STILL 'HARD NEGOTIATIONS' TO BE DONE. President Obama said the U.S. and the P5+1 partners must still engage in "some hard negotiations" with Iran before finalizing a deal on Iran's nuclear program, ABC's JORDYN PHELPS and ARLETTE SAENZ note. Obama's comments came shortly after a State Department official announced the deadline to secure a deal with Iran would extend beyond yesterday until July 7. Obama emphasized again that he will not hesitate to walk away from the negotiations if Iran does not agree to the terms reached in a tentative agreement negotiated in Lausanne earlier this year and that the U.S. is demanding more than just a declaration from Iran and a "few inspectors wandering around" every once and a while.


THE BRAZIL SWEATSHIRT YOU WON'T SEE OBAMA WEARING. If President Barack Obama goes to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 summer Olympics, he can now sport a green and yellow Brazil sweater compliments of Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff. Rousseff gave the sweater to Obama during a two-day visit to Washington D.C. and suggested Obama may want to wear it if he comes down to Brazil for next year's games, ABC's JORDYN PHELPS notes. Obama, who made clear that his Olympic loyalties rest with Team USA, admitted that he might be tempted to slip the sweater on (though not in public). "I can't wear that in public, because I have to root for the USA but at home, at night, it's comfortable, so who knows, I might slip it on," Obama joked.


"TED CRUZ: 'THE MEDIA IS OBSESSED WITH SEX'": "Fusion's Jorge Ramos sat down on Tuesday with Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz to talk about the 2016 campaign, congressional deadlock on immigration, and the recent Supreme Court ruling on equal marriage - a decision the Texas senator called 'a fundamental threat to democracy.' ...When asked if he would want his daughters to have the freedom to marry if they were gay, Cruz said people seem 'surprised' that Christians and conservatives love their children before pivoting to religious liberty. He called the Supreme Court decision an 'assault on religious liberty' and, specifically, a 'direct assault on the Catholic Church.' (Support for marriage equality among Catholics: 56 percent. Among Catholics between the ages of 18 and 29: 85 percent.) Despite intense focus among some conservatives on an issue that's been settled by the country's highest court and is uncontroversial for most Americans, Cruz blamed the media for stoking controversy: 'The obsessed with sex. It's the only thing you want to talk about.'"


@nytpolitics: Newly released emails from Hillary Clinton show a secretary of state that felt disconnected from the White House.

@jonallendc: Why reporters won't find a damn thing that's damning in Hillary Clintons emails ...

@katiezez: Rand Paul raises money with the marijuana industry in Denver

@thehill: Christie: 'I was not ready to be president' in 2012

@gregmcrc: Gov Christie problem w/ #GOP voters is not bridges, it's judges. He appointed liberal judges, endorsed Sotomayor.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events