From the White House: President Obama Delivers a Statement on Cuba
PRESIDENT OBAMA: More than 54 years ago, at the height of the Cold War, the United States closed its embassy in Havana. Today, I can announce that the United States has agreed to formally re-establish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba and reopen embassies in our respective countries.
WASHINGTON — President Obama and Cuban counterpart Raul Castro said Wednesday that embassies in Havana and Washington will reopen later this month.
“This is a historic step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with the Cuban government and people,” Obama said in his announcement from the White House Rose Garden.
Castro made a similar announcement in Havana.
A statement from Cuba’s foreign ministry “confirms the decision to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries and open permanent diplomatic missions in their respective capitals, from July 20.”
Obama said Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Havana later this month to formally re-open the U.S. embassy. […]
In his remarks, Obama called on Congress to end the embargo, casting the Cuba question as “a choice between the future and the past.”
A half-century of attempts to isolate Cuba have failed, Obama said, and improving the relationships will benefit people in both countries.
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