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#CubaNow Statement On Today’s Flag-Raising Ceremonies In Havana

Ric Herrero

#CubaNow Press Release

Aug 14, 2015

HAVANA- #CubaNow Executive Director Ric Herrero issued the following statement while in attendance at today’s historic flag-raising ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

“Today's historic ceremony, attended by scores of leaders from the Cuban-American community and American private sector, truly signals the beginning of a long-overdue era of engagement between the United States and Cuba. Only the Cuban people can build a better future for themselves, and for the first time in decades, Americans stand to play a constructive and impactful role in that process.

“A functioning embassy and a diplomatic corps that is now more engaged than ever with our Cuban neighbors is the best way to promote American values and safeguard the interests of our citizens as they strengthen their ties to the Island. At the same time, our two countries are finally poised to cooperate on mutually beneficial issues and respectfully address long-standing differences on matters such as human rights, migration and legal claims.

“Ensuring that the new relationship between our countries becomes a truly prosperous one will be a long and challenging process that will require the continued dedication of the many Americans and Cubans who have long advocated to make today a reality. It will also demand a sustained commitment and great political will from both governments to do away once and for all with restrictive policies that hold back the Cuban people and harm U.S. interests. However, it is the difficulty of these challenges that makes the restoration of relations so important. The progress we’ve seen since our policy shift last December would have never happened under the previous, failed status quo. And it is for the sake of the progress that remains to be made that we urge U.S. and Cuban policymakers to press forward.”