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US Flag Flying In Havana 54 Years Later

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The U.S. flag being raised in Cuba on Aug. 14, 2015. (State Department image)

News Americas, HAVANA, Cuba, Mon. Aug. 17, 2015: For 54 years, U.S. Marines Jim Tracy, F.W. “Mike” East and Larry C. Morris assigned to U.S. Embassy Havana hoped to see the American flag again fly over Cuba after lowering the flag on January 4, 1961.

On August 14, 2015, the marines got their wish as the US flag was again hoisted over Cuba and a U.S. Embassy returned to Havana.  The three U.S. Marines reunited as well and joined US Secretary of State John Kerry to re-open the new embassy there.

“The establishment of normal diplomatic relations is not something that one government does as a favor to another; it is something that two countries do together when the citizens of both will benefit. And in this case, the reopening of our embassies is important on two levels: People-to-people and government-to-government,” Secretary of State Kerry said.

“The restoration of diplomatic ties will also make it easier for our governments to engage. After all, we are neighbors, and neighbors will always have much to discuss in such areas as civil aviation, migration policy, disaster preparedness, protecting marine environment, global climate change, and other tougher and more complicated issues. Having normal relations makes it easier for us to talk, and talk can deepen understanding even when we know full well we will not see eye to eye on everything.”