HAVANA — President Obama once again threw down the gauntlet at the Republicans today by calling for an exchange of ambassadors between the United States and Cuba. Florida’s junior senator, Marco Rubio, was taken to an emergency room immediately afterward, suffering from apoplexy.

Immediately after AID contractor Alan Gross and an unnamed US intelligence operative were released from a Cuban prison earlier today, Hillary Clinton arrived here and was greeted effusively by Cuban President Raul Castro and Pope Francis, who asked both Mrs. Clinton, a Methodist, and Castro, an atheist, to consider converting to Catholicism. The Pope was instrumental in persuading Castro to release Gross and the unnamed US intelligence operative in return for the US release of three Cuban spies.

Clinton has long called for an end to the 53-year old embargo which President Eisenhower imposed on Cuba after Fidel Castro overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

While the media swarmed over the White House, where President Obama hosted a Hanukkah party for 550 people, they failed to notice that the previously unnamed US intelligence operative released along with Gross is a solitary reporter. “One good thing I can say about the prison guards in Cuba,” the solitary reporter said, “is that they speak Spanish a lot better than I do.”

In other news, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest denied rumors that Mr. Obama, taking advantage of the steep decline in the ruble, plans to send drones to take out thousands of Russian militias in Eastern Ukraine.

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