US, Cuba quietly open historic new chapter in post-Cold War ties

July 20, 2015 07:07

The United States and Cuba quietly ushered in a new era of post-Cold War relations on Monday, formally restoring diplomatic ties severed more than five decades ago and re-establishing embassies in each other's capitals.

Just past the stroke of midnight, the two countries reached a new milestone in the historic thaw that began with a breakthrough announcement by US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro on Dec. 17.

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez will preside around 10:30 a.m. (1430 GMT) over the raising of the Cuban flag for the first time in 54 years over a mansion that will again serve as Havana's embassy in Washington.

The hugely symbolic event will be followed by a meeting at the State Department between Secretary of State John Kerry and Rodriguez, the first Cuban foreign minister on an official visit to Washington since the 1959 Cuban Revolution.

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