Visitors to the newly re-opened Cuban embassy in Washington on July 20 were enthusiastic about the prospect of expanded contact with the Cuban people. They acknowledged, as did President Obama, the change will take time.
“I believe that American engagement — through our embassy, our businesses, and most of all, through our people — is the best way to advance our interests and support for democracy and human rights,” Obama said.
President Obama announced the normalization of U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations July 1, saying “Americans want to get to know their neighbors to the south.”
John Kerry becomes the first U.S. secretary of state to travel to Cuba in decades when he visits the reactivated U.S. embassy in Havana August 14. Both governments re-opened long-closed embassies in July.