CBS: Obama Admin Ready to Reopen Embassy in Havana, Cuba

‘Island nation will also set up an embassy in Washington’

O’DONNELL: “And it is official; president Obama will announce today the United States is ready to open an embassy in Cuba. The island nation will also set up an embassy if Washington. Bill Plante is at the White House as the two nations work to establish diplomatic relations for the first time in nearly 55 years. Bill, good morning. This is historic.”

PLANTE: “Good morning. It sure is. That announcement comes in just a few hours. And they'll normalize relations and reopen embassies, it means that there will be an American ambassador in Havana for the first time since President Eisenhower broke off relations in 1961, but it doesn't mean that the many issues between the two nations have been settled. The agreement, itself, was held up by an argument over how much freedom of travel and contact the new U.S. ambassador would have. The U.S. wants talks on human rights on properties seized in the revolution and on fugitives from the U.S. who are living in Cuba. The Cubans, of course, want an end to that trade embargo. The president of the United States supports that. On the grounds that it's ineffective. But many in Congress oppose it, on the grounds that Cuba continues to inflict serious human rights abuses on the centers.”

ROSE: “President’s decision to normalize relations was controversial certainly. Tell us about the reaction to this announcement.”

PLANTE: “Well, Republicans have objected. But the presidential candidates, themselves, haven’t said too much except for Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush tweeted his disapproval last night. He said that the U.S. embassy ‘will legitimize repression and not promote the cause of freedom and democracy.’”

ROSE: “Bill, thanks.”

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