CUBA, HAVANA : Cubans watch US President Barack Obama talking on TV about the reestablishment of full diplomatic ties with Cuba, in Havana on July 1, 2015. President Barack Obama announced that the United States and Cuba will re-establish full diplomatic relations, severed 54 years ago in the angry heat of the Cold War. The US president and Cuban state television simultaneously announced the landmark agreement, aimed at easing decades of enmity across the narrow Straits of Florida. Under the deal, embassies in Washington and Havana will be reopened as soon as July 20, in what Obama described as a “historic step forward,” and a “new chapter” in US relations with Latin America.   AFP PHOTO / YAMIL LAGE                        


Re-establishing Diplomatic Relations with Cuba (Historic Photos)

It has been 54 years since the U.S. Embassy in Havana closed its doors.  Upon ending diplomatic relations with our neighboring island nation, President Eisenhower announced, “It is my hope and my conviction that it is in the not too distant future that it will be possible for the historic friendship between us once again to find its reflection in normal relations of every sort.” Although it has taken more than half a century, President Obama recently announced that the United States would re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Coincidentally, the National Archives Still Photos Division recently acquired a large collection of photos from the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations.  The collection includes photos of embassies, consulates, and diplomatic residencies from all over the world.  Included in this collection are a number of photos from the original U.S. embassy in Cuba.  These photos were processed earlier this month and can be viewed at: Re-establishing Diplomatic Relations with Cuba (Historic Photos) | The Unwritten Record

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With our Pinch Weekenders in tow, Cole Haan recently packed our bags and took off with Cool Hunting’s creative writers and photographers on a week-long trip to Cuba, to celebrate the extraordinary artists and art of the Havana Biennial. The trip was filled with rare and exciting opportunities to experience the culture of the island and its people without limits. Check out some of the highlights and stay tuned for more moments from the New Cuba.

12 Ways You Can Legally Visit Cuba

For the adventurous, Wednesday’s news was a positive sign that with normalized diplomatic relations will also come normalized travel regulations. Officially, tourist trips are still prohibited, but since January, citizens no longer need any special licenses to plan a trip––just certification that the visit fits under one of the 12 categories OK’d by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. That is a departure from the prior approval model Americans had to rely on to travel to Cuba previously. 

After winning a great victory for communism with the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies, Barack Obama went for broke this week and surrendered to Cuba, thus ending the Cold War in a crippling defeat for global capitalism. ¡Que viva la gran revolución! ¡Venceremos!

Okay, maybe that’s not precisely what happened. But what did happen is that the White House followed through on a key portion of the president’s plan to normalize relations with our tiny communist island neighbor. In a Rose Garden ceremony yesterday, Obama officially announced that the United States and Cuba would open embassies in Havana and Washington, DC. That announcement came just over a month after Cuba was removed from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Republicans vow to oppose and roll back Obama’s Cuba policies, but their corporate masters won’t let that happen