Opening Embassies in Havana and D.C. brings the U.S. Closer to Normalizing Relations with Cuba




Rebecca Morgan, 202.495.2553,
Katie O'Connell, 202.495.2559,

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2015 – Today governments of both Cuba and the United States opened embassies in their capital cities. Victor C. Johnson, senior adviser for public policy at NAFSA: Association of International Educators, issued the following statement:

“NAFSA: Association of International Educators applauds the openings of embassies in Washington, D.C. and Havana as another important step in normalizing relations between Cuba and the United States. Much progress has been made in recent months, and these openings mark a monumental achievement in ending the 50-year failed U.S. policy of isolating Cuba. However, when Secretary John Kerry travels to Havana in August to officially raise the flag over the American embassy, it is unfortunate that most Americans will not have the same opportunity to visit Cuba and to see for themselves this island that they hear about only in political rhetoric.

"Travel is a constitutional right. The bipartisan Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act pending in Congress would make it possible for Americans to travel freely to Cuba, as they can to any other country. We call upon Congress to do its part in normalizing relations with Cuba by ending the travel ban and lifting the trade embargo so that Americans can engage freely and constructively with Cuba and its people.”