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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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world lead

December 17th, 2014
06:13 PM ET

American prisoner of Cuban regime freed

(CNN) – Five men are tasting freedom for the first time in years - including one President Barack Obama described as "one of the most important intelligence agents that the United States has ever had in Cuba" - in a historic deal between the U.S. and Cuba announced Wednesday.

The still unidentified spy was sent home along with Alan Gross, the American subcontractor held for five years in Cuba despite persistent and very public pushes for his release.

The intelligence agent was part of a deal that exchanged him for three convicted Cuban spies who are now back home in Cuba.

All five of the released men are now part of a bigger story, one that speaks to the long-held rivalry between the United States and Cuba that is now being rewritten as the two countries revamp diplomatic relations.

Who are these men? What did they do? And what can they look forward to, now that they're free?

FULL POST

world lead

December 17th, 2014
06:12 PM ET

Who is the U.S. spy released from Cuba?

(CNN) - The release of American aid worker Alan Gross as part of the U.S. and Cuba's historic shift in diplomatic relations was nothing short of splashy.

We saw photos of Gross getting off a plane and being greeted by loved ones, as well as meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry. The freed American even held his own news conference.

And yet, very little is known about the details surrounding the other prisoner released from Cuba as part of this deal.

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world lead

December 17th, 2014
06:07 PM ET

Family members of Americans shot down by Cuba in '96 react to freeing of 'Cuban Five'

(CNN) - The Cuban-U.S. spy swap comes with significant and some would even say detestable strings attached.

Members of the so-called 'Cuban Five' were not just secret agents for the Cuban government. One of them was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, linked to the 1996 plot to shoot down two planes carrying Cuban-American activists who worked for the group "Brothers to the Rescue."

Mario de la Pena and Armando Alejandre were two men killed in that attack. Mario's mother, Miriam de la Pena, and Armando's daughter, Marlene Alejandre Triana, joined "The Lead" to react to the U.S.-Cuba prisoner swap.

"This is a slap in our faces. It is very sad that an innocent man like Alan Gross is going to be exchanged for a criminal, somebody that wanted to do so much harm to the United States of America like Gerardo Hernandez, because he is not only tied to the shoot down and the murder of my son, Marlene's dad and two other Americans. He's tied to espionage, and wanting to do harm to the United States of America," Miriam de la Pena told CNN's Jake Tapper.

FULL POST

world lead

December 17th, 2014
05:46 PM ET

Congressman describes top-secret trip to Cuba

(CNN) – Rep. Chris Van Hollen describes congressional efforts to bring Alan Gross back to the U.S., and explains what Gross' release means for Cuban and U.S. relations.

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world lead

December 17th, 2014
05:44 PM ET

Pakistan attack victims buried in school uniforms

(CNN) - An incredible sense of heartache has gripped an entire nation in the aftermath of a savage attack on a Pakistani school. But Pakistan's prime minister vowed today that the deaths of 145 people, most of them children, would not be in vain.

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