Havana’s US embassy and a history of hostilities

World Today

It’s a very new sight for many Cubans. The American flag: red, which and blue with its stars and stripes, flying in front of the building that holds the U.S. embassy in Havana.

The majority of Cubans in Havana were born after the revolution, and the building that holds U.S. embassy staff was long considered the home of the enemy. CCTV America’s Michael Voss visited the United States Embassy in Havana and filed this report.

Havana\'s US embassy and a history of hostilities

It’s a very new sight for many Cubans. The American flag: red, which and blue with its stars and stripes, flying in front of the building that holds the U.S. embassy in Havana. The majority of Cubans in Havana were born after the revolution, and the building that holds U.S. embassy staff was long considered the home of the enemy. CCTV America’s Michael Voss visited the United States Embassy in Havana and filed this report.

More details:

  • The new United States embassy is a prominent landmark on Havana’s seafront, famously known as the Malecon. It’s in the same building that was operating as an embassy when Fidel Castro came to power in 1959. A “den of spies”, is what Fidel Castro called it after relations deteriorated.
  • In 1961, then U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, broke off diplomatic relations. In 1977, U.S. diplomats returned under former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, to what was called an ‘Interests Section’. The area next to the building was renamed Anti-Imperialist Plaza and quickly became a focus for anti-American demonstrations.
  • The largest of these aforementioned demonstrations was the Mass March in 2000 that called for the return of Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy caught in a bitter custody battle in Miami. A story that stayed in the headlines in the U.S. and Cuba for quite a while

US flag raised over American embassy in Havana
When John Kerry flew into Havana on Friday morning, he became the first Secretary of State to visit Cuba since 1945. Kerry was just one-year-old back then. Hundreds of Cubans gathered on the streets in front of the U.S. Embassy to see the event unfold. Others leaned over balconies to catch a glimpse of history in the making. CCTV’s Michael Voss filed the story.

US flag raised over American embassy in Havana_1

When John Kerry flew into Havana on Friday morning, he became the first Secretary of State to visit Cuba since 1945. Kerry was just one-year-old back then. Hundreds of Cubans gathered on the streets in front of the U.S. Embassy to see the event unfold. Others leaned over balconies to catch a glimpse of history in the making. CCTV's Michael Voss filed the story.


Havana’s US embassy and a history of hostilities

William LeoGrande is a Professor at American University, author, and specialist in Latin American politics.

Havana's US embassy and a history of hostilities

William LeoGrande is a Professor at American University, author, and specialist in Latin American politics.