clock menu more-arrow no yes

Read Obama and Castro's historic letters reestablishing diplomatic relations

President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shake hands in April
President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shake hands in April
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty

The Obama administration announced today that the US and Cuba will legally re-establish diplomatic ties later this summer and will open embassies in one another's capital cities.

Today's news isn't a surprise — this moment has been coming since December, when the countries made their surprise announcement that they would begin reestablish ties and end a half-century of hostility. But it's a symbolically important step. Marking that step, the two governments have formally exchanged letters announcing their agreement to re-establish diplomatic relations.

The letters are below, and they're fascinating to read, both for their role in this historic change in US-Cuba relations and for the almost quaint formality of it all. The letters are signed as from President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro, respectively; Castro's is in both English and Spanish. Here, first, is Obama's:

And the English translation of Castro's:

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.