The Embassy of Cuba has been opened in Washington on July 12, 2015. National flag of Cuba was raised in front of the building of Cuban Interest Section in the United States of America. The resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries is not removing the embargo from the island of Freedom because of the opposition of Republicans, but the basic steps in this direction have already been done. The USA Embassy in Havana will be located in the same building as it was before the rupturing their diplomatic relations. The Embassy has already started to operate, though officially the mission will be launched during the visit of the Head of the US Department of State John Kerry in August. In turn, the Cuban diplomats occupied a three-storey mansion with columns, located in the prestigious neighborhood of Washington, where many other diplomatic missions are also situated. The flag of Cuba appeared not only on the territory of the Embassy, but also next to the building of the US Department of State, where are placed the flags of all other countries with which the United States has diplomatic relations. The relations between the US and Cuba were frozen in the early 1960s, when the United States broke diplomatic relations with Cuba and imposed an embargo on trade with that country.
Since 1977, both countries had diplomatic missions, called missions of interest of the USA and Cuba. These diplomatic missions were operating under the auspices of Switzerland, but they did not have the status of embassy. In the end of 2014 the United States and Cuba have started to endeavor diplomatic efforts to normalize the relations between two countries. US President Barack Obama and President of Cuba Raul Castro made a historic statement on December 17 on the reestablishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. Just a few years ago it was impossible to assume such scenario. In an unprecedented statement about the change of the policy, US President Barack Obama acknowledged that the isolation of Cuba by the United States, which lasted more than half a century, showed its complete ineffectiveness, it did not contribute the establishment of a democratic, prosperous and stable Cuba and only harmed the people of this country, where the authorities of the country is still the same Communist Party. President said that within the next six months, the Secretary of State John Kerry should take a fresh look at the facts and decide whether to continue considering Cuba the country sponsoring the terrorism or no. Obama said that US banks are now able to open their branches in Cuba and US citizens will have possibility to send remittances to Cuba in the amount up to 2 thousand dollars. The export of telecommunication equipment to Cuba and expanded trade will also be allowed. Private companies will be able to buy building materials and agricultural equipment.
Diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba were severed in 1961 as Cuban revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro nationalized sugar plantations and confiscated American property, including oil refineries. The two countries put an embargo on the supply of the products.
The Cuban Diaspora in the United States ambiguously perceived the process of normalization of relations with Cuba; according to the survey conducted in April by the publication The Miami Herold and the sociological service Bendixen & Amandi International, the reestablishment of diplomatic ties are supported by 52% of Cuban exiles under the age of 65 years and 67% of older.
Reestablishment of ties on the Cuban side is an undoubted success of the Cuban nowadays leader Raul Castro. Unlike his brother Fidel, who led Cuba for many years, Raul set for further rapprochement with the United States and organization of the gradual market reform on the island. The resumption of diplomatic relations with Cuba does not still mean the removal of an embargo, which prevents the development of business and economic relations between the two countries.
US President Barack Obama appealed to the Congress with a suggestion for the embargo provisions against Cuba and to restore a relationship with that country. Obama implicitly acknowledged that the 50-year-old containment policy toward Cuba is not working. He noted that after half a century of isolation the country is still ruled by Castro brothers. This strategy, said the American president, is mostly harmful to ordinary Cubans.
According to him, the US does not refuse its intention to support the freedom and democracy throughout the world, but it can be done in a different way, for avoiding the confrontation.