US to open embassy in Cuba

President Barack Obama

The United States and Cuba have agreed to open embassies in each other’s capitals, the biggest tangible step in the countries’ historic bid to restore ties after more than half a century of hostilities.

President Barack Obama is expected to announce the agreement today at the White House, and the US Embassy in Havana is scheduled to open later this month.

The US and Cuba have been negotiating the re-establishment of embassies following a surprise December announcement that the long-time foes were restarting diplomatic relations.

For Mr Obama, ending the US freeze with Cuba is central to his foreign policy legacy. He has long touted the value of direct engagement with global foes and has argued that the US embargo on the communist island just 90 miles south of Florida has been ineffective.

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