July 20 U.S. embassy reopens with solemn ceremony before 500 invited guests
HAVANA, July 17 (EFE) Havana on July 20 will reopen its U.S. embassy with a formal and “very solemn” ceremony to be attended by about 500 people, headed by the island’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, who will be received in Washington later that same day by Secretary of State John Kerry.
After more than 50 years of enmity, Cuba and the United States will officially reestablish diplomatic relations on Monday, the day their respective “interests sections” in Washington and Havana will be transformed into embassies.
On that same day, Cuba will officially reopen its embassy in the U.S. capital, while the date of the similar U.S. ceremony in Havana is still to be announced with Kerry to be on hand on the island for the event.
In a meeting with reporters on Thursday in Havana, the assistant director for North America at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Gustavo Machin, said that Rodriguez will visit Washington at the head of a delegation comprised of about 30 officials, former diplomats and representatives of sectors such as culture, education, healthcare and science, along with other organizations and the Cuban Council of Churches.
Also attending the ceremony will be members of the U.S. Congress, non-governmental organizations, businessmen, representatives of activist groups with an interest in the island and members of various U.S. churches.
Machin said that the ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. and Rodriguez – the first Cuban foreign minister to visit the United States in more than half a century – will deliver the main speech.
With the reestablishment of diplomatic ties, the current heads of the Cuban and U.S. Interests Sections, Jose Ramon Cabañas and Jeffrey DeLaurentis, respectively, will become charges d’affaires until the two countries name their ambassadors.