US, Cuba to Reopen Embassies This Summer

It could happen in a matter of weeks
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2015 6:15 PM CDT
Updated Jul 1, 2015 11:28 AM CDT
A Cuban and American flag wave from the balcony of the Hotel Saratoga in Havana.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

(Newser) – It's another step toward normal relations between the US and Cuba, and it's a big one: The two countries will reopen embassies in each other's capitals this summer. Cuba says the move will happen July 20, though President Obama didn't provide a specific date in his announcement today, reports the Hill. "We don't have to be imprisoned by the past," said the president. "When something isn't working, we can and will change."

The countries currently operate lesser missions called "interests" in the capitals, and Politico notes that Congress has no power to block an upgrade to embassy status. Still, expect candidates such as Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz to be vocal in their opposition to the move. Similarly, the two senators could gum up the confirmation of any ambassador to Havana. The US continues to impose a trade embargo on Cuba, though the reopening of the embassies could give momentum to a bipartisan effort in Congress to lift it, notes the Hill.

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