Roberto Alvarez, 47, right, chats with friends back-dropped by a wall decorated with images of Cuban revolutionary heroes, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and his brother, President Raul Castro, in Havana, Feb. 25, 2015. (AP/Ramon Espinosa)
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Dreams of U.S. products flooding Havana stores and easy visits to family members in Florida have dissipated, in part because of a coordinated campaign by Cuban state media and officials to lower expectations and remind people that the main planks of the half-century-old U.S. trade embargo remain in place.Gustavo Machin, Cuba's deputy head of U.S. relations, said the communist government felt it needed to make clear to its people and the rest of the world that an opening with the U.S. did not mean things would change overnight.While Obama has all but said Cuba will be removed from the list, the State Department official said Washington sees the process as separate from the diplomatic talks and any holdup linked to the terror list is "a delay of their own making".Gustavo Machin, Cuba's deputy head of U.S. relations, said that while removal from the list isn't a formal condition for the re-establishment of relations, significant progress will be impossible without progress on the issue.
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