U.S. flag returns to embassy in Cuba after 54 years

The United States Secretary of State John Kerry led a formal ceremony on August 14 in Havana of raising the American flag in the recently re-opened U.S. embassy in Cuba, after 54 years of animosity between the two neighbors.
James Tracy, Larry Morris and Mike East, the three Marines who had lowered the flag on January 4, 1961, were in charge of delivering the standard to other three young marines who raised the Stars and Stripes on this special occasion.
Kerry is the first secretary of state to visit Cuba since 1945.
(Soundbite) John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State
“There is nothing to fear, as we will enjoy many benefits when we allow our citizens to know each other better, to visit each other more often, to do business as usual, exchange ideas and learn from each other.”
“The embargo has always been a two-way street. The two sides have to remove the obstacles that have kept Cubans away.”
Kerry said that the U.S. and Cuba are not “prisoners of history”, and “Raul Castro and Barack Obama made courageous decisions,” referring to the decision to start a process for resuming and normalizing bilateral relations.
(Soundbite) John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State
“My friends, a GPS is not needed to realize that the path of mutual isolation and alienation that the U.S. and Cuba have followed is incorrect and that now is the time to move forward in a more promising direction.”
Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez gave a joint press conference later on August 14.

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