Cuba to Open Embassy in Washington on July 20th

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

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

  • July 6, 2015 at 7:06 pm
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    Thanks Carlyle, good resume and enjoy, and sometimes disagree but always read your posts!

  • July 4, 2015 at 10:29 pm
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    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.

  • July 4, 2015 at 10:17 pm
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    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!

  • July 4, 2015 at 8:51 am
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    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.

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