After 54 years of diplomatic cold, an official ceremony will be held in the afternoon in the Washington building that has found, like that of Havana, its status automatically to 0:01 Monday.

This should be the image of the day. The Cuban flag hoisted in Washington . After 54 years of diplomatic cold, the United States and Cuba were officially reopened their embassies on Monday. The buildings that house the interest sections in each capital automatically regained their status of embassies Monday 0:01 (6:01 in Paris), a result of an agreement announced on June 30 and another concrete step in the historic rapprochement initiated last year by Barack Obama and Raul Castro.

The official ceremonies will be held in the afternoon. Meet at 16:30, Paris time, in Washington. An important delegation is expected among the 500 guests, including the iconic singer Silvio Rodriguez regime and the US Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, Roberta Jacobson, and the head of the Interests Section in Havana, Jeffrey DeLaurentis. The Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez will also be present in almost centennial of the Cuban mission building. The first visit of a head of Cuban diplomacy since 1959.


Kerry to Cuba this summer to raise the US flag

He will then travel to the State Department to see his US counterpart, John Kerry , with whom he will participate in a joint press conference at 19.45. The Cuban flag will be hoisted also in the lobby of the State Department, among those countries with whom the United States has diplomatic relations, but “outside office hours” and thus without a camera, said a source US diplomatic.

Nothing is however expected in Havana. If the block of concrete and glass beachfront Malecon boulevard will be well transformed into US Embassy , the American flag will be hoisted only at the coming of John Kerry this summer, at a time not yet announced. “There is no legal requirement for raising the flag, but the Secretary of State wants to be present to chair such an important event,” said the same US diplomatic source said. The last visit of a Secretary of State goes back to 1945. On Monday, “all employees of the interests section will be re-accredited as employees of the US Embassy and the head of mission as charge d’affaires. This means that all staff will be incorporated in the diplomatic corps in Havana. ” The US interests section, nicknamed “Sina”, employs 360 people, Cuban majority.

The Senate he will block the lifting of the embargo?

While diplomatic relations were broken off in 1961 it took the initiative of Jimmy Carter and Fidel Castro in 1977 for interest period laid down in sections former local embassies. The tasks then were mostly consular, under the protection of Switzerland in the case of the Americans in Havana, and under protection of Czechoslovakia for Cubans in Washington until the dissolution of the country, when Switzerland started to ensure same role.

The subjects of discord are however many on the road to full normalization of diplomatic relations: the lifting of the US embargo, the return of the Guantanamo Naval Base, the billions of dollars in compensation claimed by Americans to Cuba expropriated the revolution, the extradition of fugitives and refugees in Cuba wanted by the US justice … The US Congress must necessarily vote to lift the embargo imposed by John F. Kennedy in 1962 and reinforced by the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, but the Republican majority is very hostile, and presidential candidates are headwind against a reconciliation that they liken to a reward for the Castro brothers.

If elected in November 2016, the candidate Marco Rubio, Republican senator of Cuban descent, would “end to diplomatic ties with anti-American communist tyranny to a true democratic opening in Cuba,” he has repeated Sunday in an interview on CNN. The Senate should immediately block the appointment of a US ambassador in Cuba, any presidential appointment to be confirmed by the Senate. Bruno Rodriguez and John Kerry will have the opportunity to discuss bilateral issues Monday noon during a first conversation before their press conference, although the official agenda provides for a 45-minute meeting.