News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C. Thurs. July 2, 2015: Get ready for a Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. and a U.S. embassy in Havana this July 20th. President Barack Obama made it official in a letter to Cuba’s President Raul Castro on June 30th.
The letter follows as published on Prensa Latina.
THE WHITE HOUSE
June 30, 2015
Raul Castro Ruz
President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers
of the Republic of Cuba
Dear Mr. President:
I am pleased to confirm, following high-level discussions between our two governments, and in accordance with international law practice, that the United States of America and the Republic of Cuba have decided to re-establish diplomatic relations and permanent diplomatic missions in our respective countries on July 20, 2015. This is an important step forward in the process of normalizing between our two countries and peoples that we initiated last December.
In making this decision, the Unites States is encouraged by the reciprocal intention to develop respectful and cooperative relations between our two peoples and governments consistent with the Purposes and Principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, including those related to sovereign equality of States, settlement of international disputes by peaceful means, respect for the territorial integrity and political independence of States, respect for equal rights and self-determinations of peoples, non-interference in the internal affairs of States, and promotion and encouragement of respect for human tights and fundamental freedoms for all.
The United States and Cuba are each parties to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, signed at Vienna on April 18, 1961, and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, signed at Vienna On April 24, 1963. I am pleased to confirmed the understanding of the United States that these agreements will apply to diplomatic and consular relations between our two countries.
President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed Wednesday to swiftly reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, ending the half-century diplomatic freeze between the two Cold War adversaries. Both countries have operated lower-level diplomatic missions since the 1970s, but without full diplomatic ties.
Standing in the Rose Garden, Obama said many Americans and Cubans were making a “choice between the future and the past.”
Cuba’s acting foreign minister, Marcelino Medina, met with Jeffrey DeLaurentis, head of the U.S. Interests Section, to formally exchange documents.
U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, said he will travel to Cuba to personally take part in the formal reopening of our United States Embassy in Havana.
This will mark the resumption of embassy operations after a period of 54 years. It will also be the first visit by a Secretary of State to Cuba since 1945.
The resumption of full embassy activities will help the US engage the Cuban Government more often and at a higher level, the US Secretary of State said while allowing US diplomats to interact more frequently, and frankly more broadly and effectively.
As Republicans slammed the decision, President Obama urged critics in Congress to end the decades-old U.S. trade embargo.
“Americans and Cubans alike are ready to move forward,” he said. “I believe it’s time for Congress to do the same.”