Obama announces opening of US Embassy in Cuba

President Obama formally announced on Wednesday that the United States and Cuba have both agreed to open embassies in each other’s capitals following more than a half-century of hostilities between the two nations.  

"This is a historic step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with the Cuban government and people and begin a new chapter with our neighbors in the Americas,” Obama said.

The U.S. Embassy in Havana is scheduled to open on July 20, the Cuban Foreign Ministry said.

The U.S. and Cuba have been negotiating the re-establishment of embassies following a surprise announcement in December that secret talks between the global foes had led to a landmark agreement.

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar statement

“After more than 50 years, embassies in Cuba and the United States will once again be open for business. The world has changed since the last time our two countries had full diplomatic ties—TV shows have gone from black and white to color to on demand, and our phones from rotary to mobile to smart. It’s well past time that we bring our relationship with 11 million people 90 miles off of our shore into the 21st century. Having a fully equipped and staffed embassy in Havana will help advance U.S. interests by supporting the expansion of commerce and helping us engage the Cuban people. My hope is that this historic step will pave the way for even further progress, including passing my bipartisan bill to lift the trade embargo so that we can boost U.S. exports and allow Cubans greater access to American goods.”

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