Speed Reads

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Even Cuba's Santeria warlocks predict better U.S.-Cuba ties in 2015

In case the moves to improve ties by President Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro aren't enough to make you believe that a (legal) trip to Havana may be in your near future, Cuba's "babalawo" spiritual leaders also predict closer U.S.-Cuba relations in 2015.

In their annual New Years "Letter of the Year," the independent collective of Santeria priests welcomed the U.S.-Cuba thaw as opening a period "of hope for all the world," and said it would allow "our Cuban brothers" in the U.S. to "avoid being victims of the walls that separated us.... Those walls collapsed to create a bridge."

Not all was rosy in the influential list of predictions: The warlocks also warned generally about dangerous epidemics, conflicts, and environmental damage, The Associated Press reports, as well as the loss of unidentified political and religious leaders. Santeria is an Afro-Cuban mix of Roman Catholicism and Yoruba beliefs brought over from Africa. You can learn more about how they make their predictions, and see how Santeria priests dress, in the Reuters video below. --Peter Weber