The final step has been climbed: U.S. flag flies high over Cuban skies

Posted: 14-Aug-15 15:50

The last ceremonial step in reviving and formally re-establishing long overdue diplomatic relations between Cuba and U.S. has finally reached its final climax as John Kerry witnessed the raising of the American flag over the newly re-established U.S. Embassy in Havana. Just minutes ago the U.S. Secretary of State gave a heartfelt speech on the significance of such a move thanking Presidents Obama and Castro for the courage it took to renew ties in the face of fierce opposition.

The final step has been climbed: U.S. flag flies high over Cuban skies
One of the defining events marking the rapprochement of Cuba and the US has finally taken place this morning in Havana. John Kerry and other members of the US and Cuban government united in front of the recently re-opened American Embassy to raise the Stars and Stripes Flag for the first time in 54 years. The new Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis and the embassy staff were also present.

With the renowned Malecon seawall behind him, symbolising the short 90-mile distance between both nations, the US Secretary of State offered a touching and inspirational speech with high hopes for peaceful coexistence, respect and harmonious collaboration in the future.

John Kerry mentioned how glad he was the day had finally come when the two countries put aside their differences after decades of mistrust and hostility. Despite the many differences and difficulties the U..S and Cuba have had over the years, Kerry was enthusiastic about beginning to collaborate as it was only reasonable that two countries that are so near one another are able to hold diplomatic relations.

One of his first remarks was the America’s intention to commence business ties with the island by collaborating with young Cuban entrepreneurs on affairs such as telecommunications and travel. He insisted that even if the current U.S. government was making major efforts to advance, the financial embargo could only be lifted by congressional action, something that is not at the discretion of President Obama. Nonetheless, Kerry sustained that in order to ‘go further’ the Cuban government also needed to make it ‘less difficult’ by allowing citizens to further engage in business with the U.S. and access information online.

"The goal of all of these changes it to help Cubans connect to the world and to improve their lives (…)”


“The embargo has always been something of a two-way street, both sides need to remove restrictions."

John Kerry also made an important point to thank all of the people who had done their part to make this new diplomatic relations bloom. He acknowledged all the leaders throughout the Americas who embraced the re-establishment of diplomatic ties as well as Pope Francis and the Vatican for the role they played in this new chapter. Moreover, Kerry recognised the efforts made by both nations’ Presidents, amidst fierce opposition.

His most important ‘thank you’, however, was addressed to the people of Cuba and the large Cuban-American population of the US. Quoting the Cuban hero, poet and fighter in Cuba's colonial wars of independence against Spain, Jose Marti, Kerry stated that ‘everything that divides men is a sin against humanity’ and therefore it was time to bury the hatchet and leave behind days of sacrifice and sorrow and replace anger with something more productive. He called out to Cubans by pronouncing the final part of the speech in Spanish:

"We believe it’s time to reach out to one another, as two peoples who are no longer enemies or rivals, but neighbours; time to unfurl our flags, raise them up and let the world know that we wish each other well."


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