And in October 1962, the missile crisis arose – 13 days that pushed us to the very threshold of nuclear war. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry officially reopened the U.S. Embassy in Cuba. The U.S. enlisted contemporary starchitects Wallace K. Harrison and Max Abramovitz to design the building just a few years after World War II ended.
“Upon the innocent people did our country inflict immeasurable damage and suffering”, Abe said in a statement. He says he figured four or five at the most. “Religious liberty is not a reality in the entire world; there are many countries that do not allow it”.
Kerry also recalled his visit to Vietnam last week to celebrate the 20 years since the normalization of relations between the U.S. and the Asian country as an example of President Obama’s conciliatory policy.
It seemed that virtually all of Cuba was glued to a television or listening to a live radio broadcast on a cellphone. “We do not practice torture”, a presumed reference to the U.S. military base at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay. “There will continue to be issues on which we disagree or where they may not yet be ripe for transition or discussion or transformation”, Kerry said at a news conference.
Its worth to note that the flag-raising ceremony at the embassy practically coincided with the August 12-18 summit of Cubas internal opposition and Cuban exiles in Puerto Rico.
The United States removed Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in May and has since improved Cuba’s ranking in the list of countries suffering from human trafficking.
Eliécer Ávila of 14 y Medio online outlet, said the Cuban civil society should quickly adapt to new realities the changes taking place in the relationship between the United States and Cuba. “But the leaders in Havana – and the Cuban people – should also know that the United States will always remain a champion of democratic principles and reforms”.
“It would be equally unrealistic to expect normalising relations to have, in a short term, a transformational impact”. “After all, Cuba’s future is for Cubans to shape”.
The restoration of diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba got under way when President Raul Castro took over after his brother Fidel formally stepped down in 2008 after decades in power.
The island’s dissidents weren’t invited, and the pontiff who helped usher in new relations may have been expected to side with Cuba’s persecuted faithful.
After speaking to reporters with Rodriguez, Kerry briefed walked Old Havana’s historic Plaza de San Francisco with Havana City Historian Eusebio Leal, stopping to look in shops and greet residents and store owners.
Once Kerry departs, U.S. diplomats and their Cuban counterparts will begin talks to expand economic ties between the two nations by resuming direct flights and mail service.
Cheaper Cuban health care will no doubt appeal to many Americans as well.
The reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba after 54 years has sparked hopes as well as suspicions in both countries.
Kerry, the first US secretary of state to visit Cuba in 70 years, told the ceremony it was obvious that “the road of mutual isolation and estrangement that the US and Cuba have been travelling is not the right one, and the time has come for us to move in a more promising direction”.
Leahy said American businesses support lifting the embargo.
Fidel Castro did not directly mention the restored relations, though he made several critical references to the U.S. But when asked about Cuba’s spotty human rights record, Francis demurred.
Myriad other issues still divide Washington and Havana, but none is more consequential that the U.S. economic embargo- or, as the Cubans call it, el bloqueo, the blockade.