Updated March 11, 2016—On July 20, Cuba and the United States officially reestablished diplomatic relations with the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington, DC. For the first time since their respective embassies were shut down in January 1961, a Cuban flag now flies at its DC embassy and also in the U.S. State Department’s Foggy Bottom halls. A U.S. flag will be raised in Havana when Secretary of State John Kerry visits on August 14. U.S. President Barack Obama announced a plan to begin normalizing U.S.-Cuba ties on December 17, after more than a year of under-the-radar talks.
So when and through what steps did the rapprochement process begin? Here’s a timeline of key developments from the last couple years, from meetings in Canada to the Vatican’s involvement.