Wednesday, November 13, 2019

U.S., Cuban Embassies Reopen

Cuba embassy open

The United States and Cuba officially reestablished diplomatic relations this week with the official opening of each country’s embassies in Washington and Havana. The openings, marked by a ceremonial flag-raising at each location, represent the culmination of diplomatic work that was first announced in December 2014 by President Obama at the White House. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez was on hand in Washington to hoist his nation’s flag over the mansion that has not functioned in an official embassy capacity since the 1950’s. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Havana at a later date for the American embassy’s own flag-raising ceremony.

A State Department official said of the openings, “It’s important, it’s historic, but legally the embassy will be functioning on Monday, July 20. There is not a legal requirement to fly a flag, and we wanted the Secretary to be there to oversee these important events.”

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson served as the lead US negotiator with the Cuban government in re-establishing ties will be in Havana on Monday on behalf of the U.S. and Secretary Kerry.

“With this change, we will be able to substantially increase our contacts with the Cuban people, we’ll have more personnel at our embassy and our diplomats will have the ability to engage more broadly across the island that will include the Cuban government, civil society and ordinary Cubans who are reaching for a better life,” President Obama said in a statement.

Latin Post