U.S., Cuba reach agreement to open embassies
Published 9:36 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015
WASHINGTON — The United States and Cuba have agreed to open embassies in each other’s capitals, the biggest tangible step in the countries’ historic bid to restore ties after more than a half-century of hostilities.
President Barack Obama is expected to announce the agreement today at the White House. The U.S. Embassy in Havana is scheduled to open later this month.
The U.S. and Cuba have been negotiating the re-establishment of embassies following a surprise December announcement that secret talks had led to an agreement to restart diplomatic relations.
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For Obama, ending the U.S. freeze with Cuba is central to his foreign policy legacy as he nears the end of his presidency. Obama has long touted the value of direct engagement with global foes and has argued that the U.S. embargo on the communist island just 90 miles south of Florida was ineffective.
A senior Obama administration official confirmed the embassy planning. The official insisted on anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter ahead of the president.