U.S. says “sí” to Cuban Embassy

As the Cuban national  anthem plays, the country's flag goes up for the first time over its Washington embassy since 1961. (CNS Photo by Rhina Guidos)

As the Cuban national anthem plays, the country’s flag goes up for the first time over its Washington embassy since 1961. (CNS Photo by Rhina Guidos)

WASHINGTON (CNS) – For the first time since Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, the Cuban flag today flew over its embassy in the capital of the United States. In 1961, the United States and the island nation severed diplomatic relations and embassies in each country closed. Relations had been on the decline since the 1959 Cuban revolution. Revolutionary leader Fidel Castro began siding with Communist nations. After a series of events, including the confiscation of American properties, the rift deepened. Neither country trusted the other. Though neighbors, the two nations remained diplomatically estranged for more than five decades until late last year.

That’s when leaders from both countries announced that, after negotiations involving the Vatican, they were ready to work toward normalizing relations. The 10:30 a.m. ceremony in Washington saw protestors, most of them against the U.S. embargo.

Some onlookers chanted “Cuba sin Castro,” or “Cuba without Castro” and pointed out human rights violations on the island. Others chanted support for the Castro brothers and yet others were there to protest the embargo. When some in the crowd began chanting “Cuba sí bloqueo no,” or “Cuba yes, embargo no,” officials on the grounds of the embassy clapped.

The Cuban Catholic bishops in a June statement said the “new possibilities of dialogue taking place” between the governments of the U.S. and Cuba have brought “an air of hope” to the island.

For a video of the Cuban flag going up  –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZI5LvAzQ5Q&feature=youtu.be

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