On Friday, the U.S. and Cuba reopened the American embassy in Havana, 54 years after it was closed after the U.S. placed arms and trade embargo restrictions on Cuba. Secretary of State John Kerry was present for flag-raising ceremonies for the reopening in Havana, and later attended a separate flag-raising that was attended by anti-Castro dissidents, according to CNN. With the Cuban embassy reopening in Washington, D.C. in July, and the American embassy reopening in Cuba on Friday, there are signs that the two countries are ready and willing to let the bygones of the Cold War be bygones, and reestablish diplomatic and economic relations. However, signs of tension still persist, and while there are many who have been eager to see this relationship repaired for many years, opinions on the American embassy in Cuba are still mixed.
Personally, I'm excited to see the U.S. and Cuba restore friendly relations, as I've been wanting to take a vacation to Cuba for years. But, of course, these matters are more nuanced than my wanderlust dreams. Fidel Castro, who was prime minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, then president from 1976 to 2008, wrote a column for a Cuban newspaper on Thursday arguing that the U.S. owes Cuba millions of dollars for the economic damage the country suffered as a result of the U.S. embargo. Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, vehemently opposes the normalization of relations with Cuba, calling their government a "tyrannical dictatorship."
Across the board, there are people who are excited for embassies to be open in both countries after more than half a decade, people who are concerned and angry over restored relations, and those who don't really know what to make of it. Here's a look at the various reactions.