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US, Cuba restore ties, open embassies after 54 years

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The United States and Cuba have reopened embassies in each other’s countries for the first time in 54 year. This historical move has restored their full diplomatic ties. Presidents Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro exchanged letters last month agreeing to unfreeze ties on July 20, when the embassies could be reopened. For the first time since 1961, the Cuban flag will fly over Havana’s newly upgraded embassy in Washington, just a stone’s throw from the White House.

John Kerry, would become the first U.S. secretary of state to visit the country in 70 years.

Ties between these countries were severed in the year 1961.A long battle of subterfuge and outright aggression followed as Cuba closely aligned with the Soviet Union, nearly leading to nuclear war in 1962 over Soviet missiles stationed on the island.Isolating Cuba had been a foreign policy pillar under 10 U.S. presidents, continuing long after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Washington’s allies repeatedly condemned the policy.

The presidents,Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, met in April at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City in the first meeting between the countries’ leaders in decades and announced a “turning point” towards warmer relations.

The United States formally dropped Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism the following month, and has since announced moves to allow increased trade and travel between the countries.