US and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations

Cars drive past the U.S. Interests Section, in Havana December 17, 2014. U.S. President Barack Obama was set to announce a shift in policy toward Cuba on Wednesday and the Associated Press reported the changes would include the opening of an embassy in Cuba and the start of talks to normalize relations. REUTERS/Stringer (CUBA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4IF73

United States and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations. For the first time since severing ties in 1961, they reopened embassies in each other’s capitals.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla was to travel to the Cuban Embassy in Washington to raise his country’s flag, an event that Cuban government officials said would be broadcast live on the island’s state-run TV.

A Cuban delegation of diplomats, artists and veterans of the revolution were to commemorate the breakthrough with about 500 guests and more than likely down a few celebratory mojitos and shots of Havana Club rum.

U.S. diplomats in Havana have readied everything from new business cards to the embassy sign. But the festivities and flag-raising will have to wait for Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit — the highest-level trip by a U.S. official to Cuba since the 1959 revolution — for the embassy reopening ceremony in August.

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