U.S., Cuba Officially Restore Relations

Santiago de Cuba (Cuba), 26 de julio de 2013. El Canciller Ricardo Patiño, junto a jefes de Estado y de delegación, asistió al evento de conmemoración al 60 aniversario del Asalto al Cuartel Moncada. Por Ecuador además participó la Ministra de Defensa, María Fernanda Espinosa. Foto: Fernanda LeMarie - Cancillería del Ecuador.

It’s official: normal diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba have been restored to their status quo ante, a move that has been signaled by the Obama administration for months.

Just after midnight on Monday, both countries officially declared their respective embassies open for business, a move that will be culminated by a Cuban delegation to Washington for a ceremony in which the Cuban flag will officially be hoisted over the country’s embassy for the first time in more than 50 years.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to be scheduled in the coming weeks for a reciprocal event in Cuba to formally hoist the American flag over the embassy in Havana.

Proponents of the restored relations took a cautious tone for the expected news pointing out that thawing half a century of icy relations will not be instantaneous and will require ongoing work to sort out profound differences in economics and governance.