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Cuban embassy opens in U.S. capital

Monday, July 20, 2015 - 01:42

Diplomatic ties are restored as the Cuban flag is hoisted over Havana’s embassy in Washington, although U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says some hurdles remain. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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The Cuban flag flies once again over a Washington mansion... now, officially declared Havana's embassy. It marks a symbolic step in the new, improved relationship between the former Cold War foes... after 54 years of diplomatic tension. But Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez who presided over the flag-raising ceremony, says Havana wants more...namely the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba and the return of territory occupied by the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CUBAN FOREIGN MINISTER BRUNO RODRIGUEZ SAYING "I emphasize that the totally lifting of the blockade, the return of the legally occupied territory of Guantanamo, as well as the full respect for the Cuban sovereignty, and the compensation to our people for human and economic damages are crucial to be able to move toward the normalization of relations." But those issues will require Congressional approval. Rodriguez's U.S. counterpart John Kerry, says full restoration of relations must be a step-by-step process. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, JOHN KERRY, SAYING: "Change is rarely easy. Especially when earlier positions have been so deeply ingrained and so profoundly felt." There was similar excitement, though much less fanfare in Havana where the U.S. embassy officially opened at 8 am local time. The Stars and Stripes are set to be hoisted there in August, in line with Kerry's scheduled visit... marking the latest milestone in a historic journey between two old enemies.

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Cuban embassy opens in U.S. capital

Monday, July 20, 2015 - 01:42