Cuba and the United States of America restored diplomatic relations in July 20, 2015, after having severed diplomatic ties in 1961 amid the Cold War. The Cuban flag was raised over Havana’s embassy in Washington on Monday for the first time in 54 years.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez presided over the reinauguration of the embassy, a milestone in the diplomatic thaw that began with an announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro on December 17.
More than 500 people, including Obama administration officials, U.S. lawmakers and a large visiting Cuban delegation, attended the ceremony at the nearly century-old mansion that was being converted back into the Cuban Embassy.
The good relations with U.S. have a positive effect on Cuba's tourism industry that reported two million international tourists 39 days earlier compared to the same period in 2014. According to sources from the sector, that result accounts for a solid 16-percent increase in contrast to the same period last year.
Experts noted the favorable evolution of tourist-sending markets like Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the United States and Argentina. Cuba's tourism industry has growth steadily over the past few seasons, as a result of the popularity of destinations like Havana, which was chosen one of the world's seven modern wonder cities. Add to this the rapprochement between the governments of Cuba and the United States since December last year, when they agreed to reestablished diplomatic relations.
Photo Credit: Reuters