Cubans Prepare For Embassy Opening

Preparations are well underway at the Cuban Interest Section in Washington D.C.,

— -- Preparations are well underway for the Cuban Interest Section in Washington D.C., to become an embassy as Cuban diplomats hustle toward a soon-to-be announced opening date.

Today, in preparation for the conversion, the building known as the Interest Section came one step closer as a flag pole was raised outside for the very first time.

The work took less than an hour while around 40 staffers gathered outside, taking pictures with the pole before it was even hoisted.

After it was placed in front of the building, the group broke out in applause, which was followed by the Cuban national anthem.

The event wasn’t a ceremony or even a formal raising, but the symbolic nature of the move was evident for anyone watching.

The last time a flag flew on the property in D.C. was 1961, when diplomatic ties were broken. At that time the flag was located over the terrace in front of the building.

The flag pole is just one of many preparations underway at the Interest Section, and while no flag can fly just yet —they can’t raise one until it is officially an embassy once again — embassy openings in both countries are expected to begin by the end of the month.