Cubans welcome restoration of ties with U.S.

Cuban people reacted with hope and joy, after their nation and the United States declared on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations and reopen the embassies in their respective capitals as of July 20.
Soundbite (Spanish) Esther Cobas, Cuban
“It took a long time and too many efforts. It was too much for us to bear. No one needs these enmities, neither us nor them.”
According to a statement issued by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, acting Foreign Minister Marcelino Medina on Wednesday morning received Chief of the United States Interests Section in Havana Jeffrey DeLaurentis.
DeLaurentis handed Medina a letter for Cuban leader Raul Castro from President Barack Obama, confirming the decision to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries and reopen embassies in their respective capitals on July 20.
Soundbite (Spanish) Marta Torres, Cuban
“I find that it is something very good, very good for the family, very good for our town and our relatives in the U.S.”

Cuba’s national television broadcast Cuban President Raul Castro’s reply for his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama. This was followed by live transmission of Obama’s White House speech on the restoration plan.

Soundbite (Spanish) Ana Delia Alfaro, Cuban
“With that I am happy because that benefits the Cubans, including those who are here and those that are not here.”

The headquarters of the Office of Interests of United States in Havana, a majestic building located on the edge of the Malecón, will be the future U.S. Embassy in Cuba.

Soundbite (Spanish) Félix Pérez, Cuban
“I believe that it is good. Over 50 years are too long to be continued.”

The bilateral ties between Cuba and the U.S. had been severed for 54 years and both sides decided to start the process of restoration in December 2014.

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