In a historic moment for the region, the United States and Cuba reopened their respective embassies in Washington and Havana on Monday morning, officially restoring diplomatic relations.
American and Cuban flags rose Monday morning at the former US and Cuba Interest sections in the two capitals for the first time in 54 years.
It comes after more than five decades without diplomatic relations, a period ended by the announcement by US Barack Obama in December 2014 that the two sides would look to normalize their ties.
“In accordance with President Barack Obama’s announcement on July 1, effective today the United States and Cuba have re-established diplomatic relations,” the new US Embassy said in its first statement. “The U.S. Interest Section officially became US Embassy Havana.”
The embassy, located on the Malecon in Havana, will be led by Charge d’Affaires Jeffrey DeLaurentis until an official Ambassador is named.
The new US Embassy even got its own Twitter handle, @USEmbCuba, initially tweeting in Spanish.
US Secretary of State John Kerry will be traveling to Cuba later Aug. 14 to mark the reopening of the embassy.
On Monday, Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla held talks at the State Department.