The United States and Cuba restored full diplomatic relations Monday after more than five decades of frosty relations rooted in the Cold War. 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. Without ceremony in the pre-dawn hours, maintenance hung 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.