The American flag rose over the newly opened U.S. Embassy for the first time in 54 years Friday, making a symbolically charged victory lap for the Obama administration’s new policy of engagement with Cuba
Cuban dissidents were not invited to the embassy ceremony. The State Department said it had limited space at what it called a government-to-government event, and invited dissidents to a separate afternoon flag-raising at the home of the embassy’s chief of mission.
Dem Senator Bob Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants went off on Secretary of State Kerry, the Obama Adm, and foolish foreign policy
"A flag representing freedom and liberty will rise today in a country ruled by a repressive regime that denies its people democracy and basic human rights. This is the embodiment of a wrongheaded policy that rewards the Castro regime's brutality at the expense of the Cuban people's right to freedom of expression and independence"
"It is shameful that on the grounds of our embassy in Havana, the Cuban regime can dictate to the United States government who may or may not attend this ceremony. If dissent is denied in the courtyard of the U.S. Embassy, it will never be allowed anywhere in Cuba. These are not values I associate with the United States.
This is a one-sided deal that is a win for the Cuban regime and a loss for the Cuban people. The U.S. Embassy in Havana will be a hollow one, with the Cuban government limiting our diplomats the freedom of movement. It will be diplomacy for show, not in practice. The United States’ flag should only fly in Cuba when the island is free, when dissent is embraced, and when democracy is restored ”