U.S. opens embassy in CubaBaltimore Post-Examiner

U.S. opens embassy in Havana, Cuba

Early this morning U.S. Marines raised the American flag over the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, the first time it has flown over that part of the island since 1961. The three Marines who lowered it for the last time in 1961 were on hand to watch it go back up. Now retired and in their 70’s, they were happy to see the flag go up in Havana.

In a State Department video released before the event, Jim Tracy, one of the Marines who lowered the flag in 1961 (and now 78-years old), said “I’m gonna love seeing that flag go back up.”

Secretary of State John Kerry gave a brief speech commemorating the event and the new diplomatic relationship with Cuba, with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez at his side.

Huge crowds of Cubans gathered at the embassy for the event, some waving Cuban flags, others waving U.S. flags. For most citizens of the island nation this was a joyous event. When the Cuban Embassy was opened in Washington, D.C just a few weeks ago, there were protesters that are opposed to the new relations with the Castro regime.

While it was a happy event, the new era in U.S.-Cuba relations was kept real by Fidel Castro (now 89-years old), who wrote a letter to the Cuban newspaper Granma saying relations couldn’t be fully restored until the blockade was lifted and the U.S. paid millions of dollars to Cuba for the damage to the Cuban economy caused by the embargo.

It could be a long road back to normal relations between Cuba and the U.S.

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