President Xi Jinping proposed the cultural exchange year in 2014 when he attended the China-Latin America and the Caribbean Summit in Brasilia.

US President Obama urges change in Cuba | DW News

U.S. President Barack Obama was in Cuba this week, a visit which promised to "bury the last remnants of the Cold War in America."

Increasing Internet access will be a key component to boosting Cuban businesses, according to President Obama. In remarks made alongside Cuban President Raul Castro as well as a separate forum on Cuban entrepreneurship, the President emphasized the Internet’s role in improving and expanding the country’s ability to innovate.

Retired NBA great Shaquille O’Neal […] will go to Havana in June as part of a sports envoy program focused on Cuban youth [...] Ballerinas in Havana will also welcome a prestigious guest this year. Misty Copeland, the first African-American female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, will go to Cuba in November to lead dance clinics for minority youth and hold inclusion workshops for coaches.

For the first time, Cuba will be included [...] in the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, which brings 200 outstanding mid-career professionals [...] to the United States for non-degree study and related professional experiences, and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, which offers grants for U.S. undergraduates of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or internships abroad.

"Sport is the conquest of the revolution," reads the sign looming over the outfield of Havana's Estadio Latinoamericano, the island's main stadium and hallowed ground for Cuban baseball fans [...] The bare-bones stadium is the setting of one President Barack Obama's most anticipated events during his historic visit: taking in a baseball game between the Cuban National Team and the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.

President Obama starts his first full day in Cuba on Monday in the Plaza of the Revolution, where Fidel Castro once delivered stem-winding speeches denouncing U.S. imperialism. Obama’s presence there, to lay a wreath at the monument to 19th century Cuban independence hero José Martí, underscores the remarkable nature of his visit.

The Nationals have expressed interest to MLB about playing the Cuban national team, while the country’s baseball commissioner has openly welcomed the Nationals to play in Havana next spring. [...] Baker feels the baseball team in the nation’s capital would carry extra significance, especially with thawing relations between the two countries.