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President Obama Announces that the U.S. Will Reopen Our Embassy in Cuba

President Obama announces that the U.S. will reopen our embassy in Cuba.
President Obama, with Vice President Biden, delivers a statement on Cuba

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers a statement on Cuba in the Rose Garden of the White House, July 1, 2015. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

"The progress that we mark today is yet another demonstration that we don't have to be imprisoned by the past. When something isn't working, we can and will change."

-- President Obama

Under President Obama, America is charting a new course in our relationship with Cuba. Today, he announced the next step on this path: Re-opening a U.S. Embassy in Havana. 

The last time we had an embassy in Cuba was in January of 1961, when we severed diplomatic relations at the height of the Cold War. Reopening the doors is more than a symbolic step. "With this change, we will be able to substantially increase our contacts with the Cuban people," the President said.

Watch his remarks:

The President also sent letter to President Raul Castro of Cuba about re-establishing diplomatic relations and permanent diplomatic missions in the United States and Cuba. Read it here: 


Re-establishing diplomatic relations is just one of the key pillars in the President's new approach to Cuba. Here's what else we plan to do: 

  • More effectively empower the Cuban people by adjusting regulations
  • Facilitate an expansion of travel to Cuba 
  • Authorize expanded sales and exports of certain goods and services from the U.S. to Cuba
  • Authorize American citizens to import additional goods from Cuba
  • Initiate new efforts to increase Cubans' access to communications and their ability to communicate freely

Want to dive deeper into our new approach? You can learn more about the steps we're taking to improve U.S. and Cuban relations here: