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: