(Worthy News) - More than a half century of Cold War and lingering enmity came to an abrupt but quiet end on Monday as the United States and Cuba restored full diplomatic relations, the Washington Times reported.
The new era began with little fanfare when an agreement between the two nations to resume normal ties on July 20 came into force just after midnight Sunday and the diplomatic missions of each country were upgraded from interests sections to embassies. When clocks struck 12:00 in Washington and Havana, they tolled a knell for policy approaches spawned and hardened over the five decades since President John F. Kennedy first tangled with youthful revolutionary Fidel Castro over Soviet expansion in the Americas.
Without ceremony in the pre-dawn hours, maintenance workers were to hang the Cuban flag in the lobby of the State Department alongside those of other nations with which the U.S. has diplomatic relations. The historic shift will be publicly memorialized later Monday when Cuban officials formally inaugurate their embassy in Washington and Cuba's blue, red and white-starred flag will fly for the first time since the countries severed ties in 1961. Secretary of State John Kerry will then meet his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez, and address reporters at a joint news conference. [ Source ]
US-Cuba ties raise fear of deportation
More than 35,000 Cubans living in the United States have outstanding deportation orders, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They include people who pose a threat to national security or have serious criminal convictions and are considered priorities for enforcement agents.
Despite being an enforcement priority, those immigrants have not yet been sent back to Cuba because the government of President Raul Castro has not given them permission to return. It is unclear whether the Cuban government’s position will change.
A 1984 repatriation agreement includes a list of 2,746 people who had come to the United States in 1980 as part of the Mariel boatlift who should be deported. The mass migration from Cuba to Florida started when then-President Fidel Castro announced he would allow anyone who wanted to leave the Communist island nation. An estimated 125,000 Cubans made the perilous trip between April and October 1980. [ Source ]