Cubans watch US President Barack Obama talking on TV about the reestablishment of full diplomatic ties with Cuba, in Havana on July 1, 2015. AFP/YAMIL LAGE
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As word spread that the United States would soon turn its interests section into a full-fledged embassy in Havana, Cubans standing outside the mission Wednesday voiced hope for a better future.The interests section, a building on Havana's famous seafront Malecon boulevard, opened in 1977, some 16 years after the U.S. broke relations with communist Cuba.But later this summer U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to travel to Havana for a ceremony that would include the raising of the U.S. flag outside the embassy.Many stressed that the priority was the lifting of the 1962 U.S. embargo against Cuba, which the government has blamed for the island's economic woes.American jazz musician Douglas Little, who happened to be in Havana during Wednesday's announcement, noted that the United States has diplomatic relations with Vietnam even though it went to war with that country.
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