On Wednesday The United States and Cuba plan to make history as they officially resume diplomatic ties with the reopening of embassies in Washington and Havana. The move will mark the first time in over half a century that the two countries will have functioning embassies in each other's country.
"We will formally announce tomorrow that the United States and Cuba have reached an agreement to re-establish formal diplomatic relations and open embassies in each other's capitals," a senior Obama aid said. "We expect President Obama and Secretary Kerry to address this publicly tomorrow morning."
The re-opening of embassies marks the final step in President Barack Obama's push, initiated last December, to normalize relations between the once friendly nations. The latest moves follow the loosening of some travel restrictions to Cuba and some preliminary new economic ties.
President Obama met with de-facto leader Raul Castro in April at a summit meeting in Panama, the first time the heads of state of each country had met in over 50 years.
Earlier in June the Obama administration officially removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terror, in a move widely regarded as eliminating the remaining obstacle to the diplomatic renewal.
While the United States has not had an official embassy in Havana, it does have a so-called "Interests Section" which occupies the same building as the American embassy prior to the severing of diplomatic ties after the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s. Situated on the Havana waterfront, the American embassy will occupy the same building according to White House officials.