Cuban Embassy Opens In DC
Via USA Today:
Throngs of demonstrators gathered Monday to witness the raising of the Cuban flag over Cuba's embassy, the first time it has flown here since the U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with the communist country 54 years ago. As American and Cuban diplomats stood side by side, three Cuban guards in white uniforms marched out of the building, attached the flag to a recently-constructed flag pole and raised it above Washington's 16th Street, just 2 miles north of the White House, to mark the formal re-opening of the embassy. Monday's events at the Cuban Embassy drew pro- and anti-Cuban protests. Chants of "Viva Cuba" and "Viva Fidel" competed against those of "Free Cuba" and "Cuba, forever socialist." One man was arrested after throwing a red paint bomb into a crowd. "I am here to see a day of infamy," shouted Frank Calzon, executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba, a Washington group that opposes any opening with Cuba. Another protester, Aimel Rios, said the new relationship will only hurt the Cuban people if the U.S. does not force human rights changes on the island, which stands to receive a financial windfall from increased American trade and travel.