The Obama administration to announce on Wednesday it has reached an agreement with Cuba to reopen embassies and restore diplomatic relations. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
On Wednesday the Obama administration will announce it has reached an agreement with Cuba to reopen embassies and restore diplomatic relations. The formal unveiling of a deal would fulfill a pledge the former Cold War rivals made little more than six months ago when U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced a historic diplomatic opening. The two leaders met in Panama in April. A senior Administration official says President Barack Obama, in Washington, and Secretary of State John Kerry, in Vienna for Iran nuclear talks, will both address the issue. A similar announcement is likely to be made by Cuba's Communist government Kerry is likely to travel to Havana during the week of July 20 for a flag-raising ceremony to reopen the American embassy. Both countries can now upgrade their so-called interests sections in Havana and Washington into full-blown embassies, with ambassadors to be appointed later. Restoration of relations would be the latest phase in a normalization process, which is expected to move slowly because of lingering problems over issues such as Cuba's human rights record. A U.S. embargo will remain in place, and only Congress can lift it.