Veteran diplomat Jose Cabanas became Cuba’s first ambassador to the United States in 54 years, thanks to the recent rapprochement between the former Cold War foes. Cabanas, who ran Havana’s de facto embassy or “Interests Section” in Washington since 2012 and became charge d’affaires when relations were formally restored on July 20, presented his credentials to U.S. President Barack Obama. “The ceremony took place at the White House Oval Office, the venue of the presidential office, in the midst of a day when the U.S. leader received 16 new ambassadors,” said a Cuban embassy statement. “The Cuban ambassador’s accreditation to the United States is a further step within the process to normalize relations between both countries,” it added, saying Cabanas and Obama discussed the state of bilateral relations. Washington has yet to name an ambassador to Cuba.
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Newsline: Cuba has first ambassador to US in half a century