After 54 years of being down, the U.S. flag actually did go up on Friday at the American Embassy in Havana, Cuba.
John Kerry punctuated the event, becoming the first secretary of state to visit the communist country since 1945. The step is part of continuing efforts between Cuba and the United States to normalize the relationship between the two countries after more than 50 years of tension, including a U.S. economic blockade and repeated assassination attempts on Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
The Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C., officially opened last month with the Cuban flag being raised. Kerry said Cubans must decide their future.
Many Cubans remember Dec. 17 and what they were doing when President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced that talks would begin to between the two countries. It means that much to them.
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The Cuban people are optimistic about the future and have great hopes for the new diplomatic relationship. They watch U.S. politics and elections more closely than many Americans do.
A lot of ground remains to be covered, but the U.S. flag going up at the American embassy and Kerry’s visit are positive steps in the right direction.