- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - When the leaders of the U.S. and Cuba had their first phone conversation in more than 50 years, they were not at a loss for words.

As President Barack Obama told the story at his news conference Friday, he opened his call with Cuban President Raul Castro - brother of famously longwinded Fidel - with a 15-minute monologue, then apologized for taking so much time.

“He said, ‘Don’t worry about it, Mr. President,’” Obama related. “‘You’re still a young man, and you have still the chance to break Fidel’s record. He once spoke seven hours straight.”

Obama said Raul Castro then launched into his own preliminary remarks, which “lasted at least twice as long as mine.”

“And then,” Obama went on, “I was able to say, ‘Obviously it runs in the family.’”

The phone call Tuesday lasted about 45 minutes, heralding a revival in U.S.-Cuba ties severed when Fidel Castro seized power in 1959 and the U.S. imposed its embargo two years later.

Obama said he imagines he’ll visit Cuba “at some point in my life” but that’s not in the cards now.

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