Cuba to Open Embassy in Washington on July 20th

The Cuban Interests Building soon to be embassy in Washington.  Photo:
The Cuban Interests Building soon to be embassy in Washington. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — Cuba will open its embassy in Washington on July 20th, announced the government of Raul Castro on Wednesday, a major step in the new relationship between Cuba and the USA, reported dpa.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez will make a special trip to Washington on that date for the opening ceremony. The United States, meanwhile, did not yet give a date for the pending grand opening of its embassy in Havana to be attended by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Raul Castro sent a letter today to President Barack Obama, confirming the intention of his government to open the embassy on July 20.

“I am pleased to write to you to confirm that the Republic of Cuba has decided to resume diplomatic relations with the United States and open permanent diplomatic missions in our respective countries on July 20,” Castro said in the text.

Obama confirmed shortly after that US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Havana to reopen the US embassy, but did not mention a specific date.

Kerry will travel “later this summer to Havana to proudly hoist the American flag,” said Obama, calling it a “historic step” between the two countries during a brief speech from the White House.

“We should not be prisoners of the past. When something does not work (in reference to previous policy toward Cuba) it can and must change,” Obama said.

Obama and Raul Castro made a surprise announcement last December 17 of a historic diplomatic rapprochement between the two countries after more than half a century of hostilities, then sealed it with a prisoner exchange.

The US unilaterally broke off relations with Cuba in 1961, two years after the triumph of the revolution led by Fidel Castro and after the expropriation of numerous US companies on the island. A year later the US imposed a harsh economic and trade embargo against the island that is still in effect.

One of the coming steps in the long process towards normalization will be for the two administrations to appoint ambassadors for their respective embassies.

20 thoughts on “Cuba to Open Embassy in Washington on July 20th

  • Thanks Carlyle, good resume and enjoy, and sometimes disagree but always read your posts!

  • What is so boring Dan is the constant references too and comparisons with the US. but you got it right when you wrote of “the cruel and venal yoke of the Castro Family Dictatorship.”
    My criticisms are not of Cuba or the people of Cuba, both of which I respect and admire – lovely people in a beautiful country. My criticisms are of the Castro family regime and its lackeys in the Communist Party of Cuba. But then as one who spends most of his time there – when doubtless you are relieved by not being subject to my opinions in these columns, I see hour by hour, day by day and week by week the conditions and life style enforced upon Cubans by their masters in the regime.
    Just to demonstrate some balance, let me say that I think life for Cubans is preferable to that of citizens of North Korea and Zimbabwe.

  • I too am married to a Cuban bjmack and our home is in Cuba where I spend more than half my time. We don’t live in Havana or any of the tourist resort areas, but in the middle of Cuba. In our city there is not one hotel and there are no listed casa particulars. As my wife works, holding a responsible position in education, I do the shopping – both in the GAESA owned shops and on the street. I go to the empresa to buy the bread and whilst frequently waiting for the next batch of bread converse with other locals.
    You speak of change, viewed from within Cuba proper, little is discernible. But by talking of change you touch upon one of my concerns. I have a four year old God-daughter in Cuba and have a deep affection for her mother, father and younger sister. The mother – my niece through marriage, is by profession a teacher and speaks with contempt of the regime, but my concern is that my God-daughter is not condemned to live under the one-party state for her lifetime – as to date my niece has!

  • Thanks for carrying the ball for me. I resist making comparisons because there are far too many variables which make the comparison faulty. Besides, as a child, when I wanted more ice cream and my mother reminded of the starving kids in Africa, I failed to see the relevance. When I want more democracy for my Cuban friends and family, and a Castro sycophant responds by quoting crime statistics in Chicago, again I fail to see the relevance.

  • Dan, I’ve done in depth research into Havana Times and some in the anti normalization process state that this is a totally pro Castro front. That’s fine in that one is entitled to one’s opinions. I for one find this site exceptional in that

    posters like Carlye, John Goodrich, Carlye and others bring some good points that I sometimes fail to reason with. Moses is married to a Cuban woman and has visited her family numerous times so he’s got credibility in my book.
    Cuba needs the US and Cuba is strategically important to us. Let’s see how it all pans out but my thinking is that everything is going to be fast tracked and the internet will be the key for free thinking among the masses. Change is inevitable.

  • BJ, you should know by now that according to Mssr.s Moses and Carlyle, HT is a blog about Cuba, and hence comparisons between Cuba and any other country, developed or undeveloped, are irrelevant and unwelcome, at least as far as the comparison is favorable to Cuba. All focus, in their opinions, is to remain laser-like upon the failures and imperfections of Cuba, suffering under the cruel and venal yoke of the “Castro Family Dictatorship”

  • Cuban resort / hotel workers like American tourists as they are very generous with their tips. Some tourists from Europe are very tight with their tips.
    Gordon Robinson Port Alberni B.C. Canada
    [email protected]

  • Carlyle, I think you’re from Canada and if so, you may or may not know that the US,

    especially black people, in general, are living on welfare and subsidies that comes from my taxes. In NYC, the tax rate, with sales tax included, is 45% and so there are minorities who live in a similar position as those in Cuba who are lower than the 20.68 monthly you write. Here’s the difference, Cuba has opened up to the extent that 5% have internet access, slow of course, but will change with expansive trade with the US. As far as those who criticize the Cuban system, there’s one person I follow daily and she is Yoani Sánchez who comes to the US, preaches against her government and last I checked, still walking the streets of Havana. Perfect? No but not what you are perhaps seeing. Yoani and many like her stayed in Cuba and WILL make the changes necessary for a different system than you and I are seeing today.

  • Always fair and balanced Marti!

  • I agree with you naksuthin.

  • Your a good man Moses. I’m not a Obama fan but I think this was extraordinary, as with his Iraq policy, so let’s see how this pans out. I think it will be wonderful for the peoples of Cuba and hopefully your wife will see a better future for her family and friends. You also make me consider Obama a better President than I thought with you endorsement.

  • Again, this was totally expected and I also applaud Obama, a president I am generally opposed to MOST of the time. Let’s get the internet going full steam and then we’ll see some rock and rolling. To all those who stayed in Cuba I also, as someone who never went through what you did, may you have better times which you so rightfully deserve. Salute!

  • You will find a beautiful country with wonderful people. Just bear in mind that average pay is $20.68 per month with no media freedom and a potential place in jail for Cubans who criticize the regime. But go and enjoy your visit!

  • The soviet block broke up a couple of decades ago. The Cuban’s are no threat to US. It is not necessary to give them aid or give them loans, but neither do restrictions on American citizens to travel or trade at their own risk make sense. As to settlement of nationalized property, waiting is not going to get that done. Europe settled with Cuba decades ago.

  • This foreign policy decision by the Obama administration will either be the icing on a cake flavored with a nuclear agreement with Iran and a Pacific Rim trade agreement. His track record with totalitarian regimes is mixed. Our normalization with Myanmar is still working itself out. He could also go down in history as the worst negotiator since England’s Neville Chamberlain. It’s clear what the Castros get from this deal. I continue to support President Obama but so far I don’t see what’s in it for the US.

  • Let’s see
    Communist China killed thousand of US soldiers during the Korean war
    We now have trade and diplomatic relations with them

    Communist North Vietnam killed thousands of US solders during the Vietnam war
    We now have trade and diplomatic relations with them

    Cuba hasn’t killed any US soldiers
    And I can’t even buy a cuban cigar???

    What’s wrong with THAT picture??

  • Great, the entire idea of cutting off Cuba lost its relevance forty years ago

  • CONGRATULATIONS to all involved!! My parents spent a ton of time in Cuba, including dad going to meet Fidel, and dad absolutely thought Fidel was the hero who might, just might be able to wrest Cuba out of the iron grip of the mob. Dad was told to ”shut up and sit down” or else. But he never changed his mind about that part, at least, even under severe pressure to conform to the lies. Better the man for the people than the mob and Batista for the rich and richer.

    And, to be honest, I enjoyed the very best pineapple EVER, picked ripe to eat that day,,, and the best ”skin diving” EVER,,, and dancing all the way from the so called bum boat to the Bed and Breakfast with the HUGE barracuda dad speared, with almost every Cuban on the way joining the dance,,, but absolutely did NOT enjoy the part when we came up to a ”casino” in a horse drawn carriage driven by a Cuban all in white clothes and seeing dad, also dressed all in white, thrown out by the thugs.

    LOVE Cuba, love the people,,, hoping this will really and truly ”energize” all concerned to bury the past and go forward for the best possible for all concerned…

  • I have been against the resumption of normalization for a long time, because it is what my parents were against, and the errors of the past came from a time when I was very young. While I may not agree with many of the Cuban government policies with respect to human rights, we can continue to disagree and yet peacefully coexist where our respective peoples are not harmed by embargoes (I know these are still to be resolved fully). Change is usually resisted by the cultural resistance within; but from change frequently much good can result. I look forward to a time I can travel without restriction to enjoy the beautiful country and culture of Cuba, and equally look forward to when all Cuban citizens can freely travel here to the United States, to enjoy this great land as well.

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