After more than 50 years, the U.S. and Cuban embassies in Havana and Washington, DC are to reopen as part of an agreement between the two countries to restore diplomatic ties. Pavithra George reports.
A new day for US-Cuba relations At the Cuban foreign ministry, the chief of the U.S. interests section in Havana, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, delivered a letter from President Barack Obama to Cuba's president Raul Castro- on the opening of embassies in both Havana and Washington D.C.. For ordinary Cubans, it's a RED letter day. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARBARA LORENZO, CUBAN REQUESTING VISA TO VISIT U.S., SAYING: "What joy! Including today, it's five times that I've come to this embassy. I think this will continue to get better, we hope." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JESUS HERNANDEZ GARCIA, CUBAN REQUESTING VISA TO VISIT U.S., SAYING: "We've been in this situation for 56 years and I think this will benefit the country in certain respects and I think it benefits those of us who want to see our families, our children, who are in the U.S." The two countries broke ties in 1961, after Communist leader Fidel Castro took power. With diplomatic relations restored, the United States and Cuba will now turn to the more difficult task of normalizing relations overall, a task complicated by the U.S. economic embargo imposed in 1962.