22 Jul Impact on Miami: US and Cuba Re-Open Embassies
The re-opening of diplomatic ties with Cuba has been completed. The re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba was announced by President Obama on July 1, 2015. On July 1st, the U.S. and Cuban Interests Sections expressed a mutual intent to re-establish diplomatic relations and re-open embassies, after both countries agreed to develop “respectful and cooperative” relations. The US Embassy Havana will continue to operate much as the Interests Section did, providing consular services, operation of a political and economic section, implementation of a public diplomacy program, and will continue to promote respect for human rights. The re-opening of the embassy, however, does not affect the embargo on Cuba and there will need to be legislative action taken in order for it to be lifted.
In addition to lifting the embargo, Havana demands the return of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay – an issue that John Kerry said Cuba had “strong feelings about” but which is not currently under discussion. Other problems include the countries’ outstanding legal claims against each other and Cuba’s sheltering of American fugitives.