Friday, June 12, 2015

The Cuban Embassy is coming to 16th Street

A few months ago we heard about Fidel Castro's visit to Columbia Heights in 1959, where he hung out in Meridian Hill Park (see above). He was staying at what was then the Cuban Embassy to the US at 2630 16th Street NW, right across from the park.

However, since the US and Cuba ended formal diplomatic relations in 1961, the Embassy was closed. It had been operating as a de facto diplomatic mission, the Cuban Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy, since the Swiss were neutral -- a counterpart, the US Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy operated in Havana. But since Pres. Obama has been normalizing relations between the two countries and removing Cuba from sanctions lists, the Cuban Embassy is set to reopen in our area.

The Latin American Herald Tribune reports that the flagpole has gone up as Cuban officials cheered and sang their national anthem. The Swiss sign is still in place, but it looks like we'll have an embassy soon enough.

The Post noted a few months ago that a new embassy would mean more social and cultural events, which I would definitely be in favor of: Cuban music, drinks and food? Sign me up.

Photo from Old Time DC

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