U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, on beginning his statements at a joint press conference with his Cuban counterpart in Havana’s Hotel Nacional, stressed that today marked a historic moment as finally, after 50 years, Cuba and the United States had reestablished diplomatic relations.
Kerry explained to reporters that the meeting between the two delegations was held in a cooperative atmosphere.
He expressed his confidence that today marked the beginning of a new opportunity for diplomats and that the normalization of relations could not be considered a favor on the part of one country for another.
Kerry noted that the reestablishment of diplomatic ties is a step toward building new relations, but that pending on the road to full normalization is the end of the blockade, which will assist U.S. officials and help eliminate differences.
He added that the reopening of the U.S. embassy would facilitate talks between the two countries and provided an opportunity for officials from both embassies to have more contact with the people.
The Secretary of State stated the belief that the normalization of relations would empower Cubans to improve their lives in general.
He stressed that President Barack Obama’s administration has called for an end to the policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, but that this requires the approval of Congress.
Kerry noted that the two countries have agreed to establish a mechanism by which certain steps can be taken to ensure this relationship matures, adding that he has no doubt that a mutual agreement will be reached.
He concluded that the flag raising ceremonyat the U.S. Embassy held today demonstrated the determination tomove forward.