U.S. reopens Embassy in Cuba after 54 years
Secretary of State John Kerry has hailed a “truly memorable day” as he saw the US flag raised over the reopened American embassy in Havana for the first time in 54 years.
According to a Sky News report, three U.S. Marines who lowered the Stars and Stripes in 1961 were in the Cuban capital to help hoist the flag again at the ceremony. One of them openly wept.
Hundreds of Cubans gathered from the early hours outside the seafront mission to witness the historic day, some of them cheering as Old Glory ran up the pole to sound of the U.S national anthem.
Mr Kerry credited U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro for making “the courageous decision to stop being the prisoners of history”, reported Sky News.
With ties now restored, there are plenty of hurdles along the way to normal relations between the two neighbors.
Cuba wants the United States to end its economic embargo of the island, return the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in eastern Cuba and halt radio and television signals beamed into Cuba.
The Americans will press Cuba on human rights, the return of fugitives granted asylum and the claims of Americans whose property was nationalized by Fidel Castro’s government.
Following the meeting, Kerry will meet Cuban dissidents opposed to the island’s one-party political system.
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