Kerry arrives in Cuba to raise flag at embassy - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Kerry arrives in Cuba to raise flag at embassy


 HAVANA (AP) -- The latest on ceremonies to raise the U.S. flag over the embassy in Havana after 54 years of broken diplomatic relations:
   9:10 a.m.
   Cuban television has switched from cartoons to live coverage of the U.S. embassy flag-raising, broadcasting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's arrival at Havana's Jose Marti airport followed by a detailed biography of Kerry's career.
   It notes his service in Vietnam, his presidential run and work as secretary of state.
   The state television network informs viewers that Kerry "is a Roman Catholic, likes bicycling, surfing and windsurfing" and is a fan of the Beatles and Rolling Stones.
   9:00 a.m.
   U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Havana for an historic ceremony to raise the U.S. flag over a restored U.S. Embassy in the Cuban capital. It's the first time a U.S. secretary of state has visited the nearby nation since 1945.
   8:55 a.m.
   Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is the son of anti-Castro Cuban immigrants and he's blasting the Obama administration's decision to reopen the embassy in Havana.
   In prepared remarks from New York, he says the opening has ensured the socialist Cuban "regime will receive international legitimacy and a substantial economic boost to benefit its repression."
   8:45 a.m.
   Among those gathering in front of the U.S. Embassy in Havana are the drivers of three 1950s-era Chevrolets that are parked outside the building.
   Julio Alvarez heads the custom cab company that operates them and he says the State Department had invited him to send them without saying why. Alvarez says he's hoping that Kerry will take a ride in one of the classic U.S. cars that have become emblematic of Cuba for tourists.
   8:25 a.m.
   Some 200 Cubans already have gathered near the U.S. Embassy along Havana's seafront Malecon boulevard ahead of the official ceremony to raise the U.S. flag over the building for the first time in 54 years.
   Twenty-eight-year-old Marcos Rodriguez says he's come "because I wouldn't want to miss it." He voices the hopes of many on the island, expressing "hope for social and economic benefits for all Cubans."
   Giant Cuban flags hang from the balconies of nearby apartment buildings and people have gathered at their windows with a view of the embassy.

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