A ceremony steeped in symbolism. For the first time in 54 years, the Cuban flag was raised over its Washington embassy, as the two countries officially restored ties.
As the flag was raised a small group chanted ‘Cuba Yes, Embargo No’ recalling the major barriers that remain between Washington and Havana. A point recalled by Cuba’s Foreign Minister during the opening ceremony press conference.
“The historic events we are living today will only make sense with the removal of the economic, commercial and financial blockade, which causes so much deprivation and damage to our people, the return of occupied territory in Guantanamo, and respect for the sovereignty of Cuba,” said Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
Traffic jam, media frenzy & many onlookers ahead of ceremony to re-open #Cuba embassy in Washington.
euronews</a> <a href="http://t.co/Kf12JdVPY8">pic.twitter.com/Kf12JdVPY8</a></p>— Stefan Grobe (StefanGrobe1) July 20, 2015
In Havana, the US embassy was reopened for business with less fanfare. The stars and stripes won’t grace the building until an official visit by Secretary of State John Kerry scheduled for August 14.
#Cuba – US embassy in Havana opens to a day 'like any other'. By
roquehabana</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AFP?src=hash">#AFP</a> <a href="http://t.co/SrwAFeJjaM">pic.twitter.com/SrwAFeJjaM</a></p>— AFP Photo Department (AFPphoto) July 20, 2015