The official ceremony opening the U.S. embassy in Cuba took place today August 14, while the embassy has been functioning as such since July 20. Hundreds within the grounds and surrounding the area witnessed what has been described as a historic event.
The flag raising ceremony at he U.S. embassy in Havana was led by Secretary of State John Kerry and constitute the official opening of the diplomatic mission, which has been functioning as an embassy since July 20.
Special participants were James Tracy, Mike East and Larry Morris, the three Marines who lowered the flag in 1961, and this morning carried the U.S. flag raised in front of the building located on Havana’s emblematic waterfront.
Embassy Charge d’affaires Jeffrey DeLaurentis welcomed the U.S. delegation, as well as the Cuban, led by Josefina Vidal, the Foreign Ministry’s director for the United States, commenting that the day marked a new beginning in the two countries’ relationship.
Hundreds of people within the grounds and surrounding the area witnessed what has been described as a historic event, joined by reporters and photographers assigned to cover the proceedings by media around the world.
The Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco recited his poem “Matters of the sea-Cosas de mar,” followed by Kerry’s remarks, in which the Secretary of State emphasized that the time was right for the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The formal opening of the embassy and Kerry’s visit to Cuba concludes the first phase of efforts underway to normalize relations, announced last December 17 by Presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama.