Obama hails ‘new chapter’ in Cuba relations

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President Barack Obama has announced that the United States and Cuba will reopen their embassies in Havana and Washington, heralding a “new chapter” in relations.

The embassy agreement marks the biggest tangible step towards normalising relations since the surprise announcement in December that the two countries were restarting diplomatic ties.

The posts in Washington and Havana are scheduled to open on July 20, Cuba’s foreign ministry said.

“We don’t have to be imprisoned by the past,” Mr Obama said at the White House. “Americans and Cubans alike are ready to move forward.”

In a highly unusual move, Cuban state television broadcast Mr Obama’s remarks live with translation in Spanish.

For Mr Obama, ending the US freeze with Cuba is central to his foreign policy legacy as he nears the end of his presidency.