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Saturday, August 15, 2015, Shraban 31, 1422 BS, Shawal 29, 1436 Hijr


US flag raised at Havana embassy by Kerry after 54 yrs
Published :Saturday, 15 August, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 8

HAVANA, Aug 14: Secretary of State John Kerry called on Friday for "genuine democracy" in Cuba as the American flag was raised over a US embassy in Havana for the first time in 54 years.
Putting a symbolic capstone on the United States' historic rapprochement with Cuba, Kerry gave the cue to hoist the Stars and Stripes over the glass-and-concrete building on the Havana waterfront.
Three retired Marines who lowered the flag that day, as Washington severed ties with Havana at the height of the Cold War, were on hand to give the new flag to the Marine guard now charged with security at the embassy.
The historically charged photo-op put a coda on the historic rapprochement announced on December 17 by US President Barack Obama and Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, which paved the way for the two countries to reopen their embassies on July 20.
Kerry, the first secretary of state to visit Cuba since 1945, said the shift in US policy did not mean Washington would stop pressing for change on the communist island.
"The leaders in Havana and the Cuban people should also know that the United States will always remain a champion of democratic principles and reforms," he said.
"We remain convinced the people of Cuba would be best served by a genuine democracy where people are free to choose their leaders with commitment, economic and social justice."    ?AFP











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