Cuba appoints first ambassador to US in 54-years

Cuba appoints its first ambassador to US in 54-years as result of recent diplomatic rapprochement between two countries

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The Cuban national flag is seen raised over the new embassy in Washington, July 20, 2015. The Cuban flag was raised over its embassy in Washington on Monday for the first time in 54 years as the United States and Cuba formally restored relations.

Updated Sep 18, 2015

Veteran diplomat, Jose Cabana became Cuba’s first ambassador to the United States on Thursday, following the 54-year diplomatic standoff between the two countries.

Jose Cabanas was appointed in 2012 to Havana’s de facto embassy in Washington, which was constructed in 1917 and served until the United States severed relations with Cuba in 1961, two years after the Cuban revolution.  

In July, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla flew to the Cuban Embassy in Washington to raise his country's flag, following the US and Cuba re-establishing diplomatic relations.

Shortly after the official reopening of the Cuban embassy in Washington, Cabanas became charge d'affaires.

Before his assignment to the Washington embassy in 2012 , he was the country's envoy to Austria and foreign affairs vice-minister, respectively.

The US President Barack Obama lead a ceremony in the White House on Thursday, to receive 16 new ambassadors, including Jose Cabanas. During the ceremony Obama and Cabanas came together and discussed the state of bilateral relations, according to a statement from the Cuban Embassy.   

"The Cuban ambassador's accreditation to the United States is a further step within the process to normalize relations between both countries," the embassy said.

Meanwhile, at a meeting in Havana last week, delegations from each side agreed on regularly scheduled commercial flights between the two countries and also sending-receiving postal service before the end of the year to create a deeper commercial partnership alongside the renewed diplomatic relations.

TRTWorld and agencies