The United States and Cuba will re-establish diplomatic ties and open their long-shuttered embassies on July 20, the Cuban government said Wednesday.
Cuba’s foreign ministry made the announcement after the U.S.’s top diplomat in Havana delivered a letter from President Obama to Cuban President Raúl Castro.
The move is the biggest step yet in Obama’s push to end hostilities with Havana that date back to the Cold War, which he announced in December with Cuban President Raúl Castro.
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will speak about the plan on Wednesday morning, according to a senior administration official.
The Obama administration cleared the biggest obstacle to the shift after it formally dropped Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in May.
But U.S. and Cuban negotiators still had to work through thorny issues, such as freedom of movement for American diplomats in Cuba and their ability to speak with people outside of the government.
Anticipation for the move built earlier this month after flagpoles were installed at the U.S. and Cuban interest sections, which have served as the countries’ informal diplomatic missions.
Obama and Castro agreed last December to begin restoring long-broken ties between their two countries.
The two leaders met in April in Panama, the most significant interaction between U.S. and Cuban leaders in five decades.
No big deal, we'll only have embassies opening up in a few weeks after 50 years or so of diplomatic silliness. Of course, the moment America elects a Republican president, will they close the embassy again? Republicans like Marco Rubio have vowed to block any nominee as Ambassador to Havana and that's just for starters.
Somehow being on the wrong side of history yet again doesn't seem to bother the right.