On Friday, August 14, the American flag flew above the U.S. Embassy in Havana for the first time in 54 years. In a small ceremony broadcast around the world, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of the restoration of diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba. The ceremony included an introduction by U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, an oration by Cuban American Richard Blanco of his poem of hope for the two countries separated only by the Florida Straits, and the flag-raising ceremony featuring the same three US Marines who lowered the U.S. flag from the Embassy in 1961.

Ralph L. Gazitua, WTDC President & CEO, was honored to attend both the raising of the flag at the Embassy and a flag-raising at the residence of US Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis. Since President Obama’s announcement of the intent to restore relations between the US and Cuba last December, Mr. Gazitua has been involved in numerous high-level meetings forecasting the coming changes. WTDC offers consulting services for companies looking to send state-approved commodities to Cuba.

Ralph Gazitua Cuba Marines

The participation of U.S. Marines Jim Tracy, F.W. “Mike” East, and Larry C. Morris (pictured above with Mr. Gazitua) was truly a patriotic highlight. These Marines made a promise to one day return to Havana to see the U.S. flag fly again above the U.S. Embassy.

All photos courtesy of Ralph L. Gazitua, WTDC

Watching the U.S. Marines raise the American flag in the U.S. Embassy-Havana.

The U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba.

Mr. Gazitua walks with Secretary Kerry across the grounds of the residence of US Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis.

Mr. Gazitua pictured with U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, current US chagre d’affaires in Havana at his residence.

Mr. Gazitua pictured with the US Marines currently stationed in Cuba and the American Eagle that once adorned the USS Maine Memorial in Havana. About WTDC: WTDC is a Foreign Trade Zone in Miami, Florida, USA, family-owned and operated by the Gazitua family since its founding in 1977. WTDC is a full-service logistics company specializing in international distribution and global transportation management. We provide transportation services via Road, Rail, Air, or Ocean. WTDC specializes in servicing the Duty-Free and Travel Retail industries. Phone: 305-594-7484 www.wtdc.com