US Flag and Cuba Meet Again

The Obama Administration has been working hard to begin a thawing process between Cuba and America. Some progress has been made, but not much. Many of those opposed to restoring relations with the Communist country led by the Castro brothers say that not enough has changed on the island to warrant the US giving in to any type of relief or recognition. Others, however, mostly younger, say that US embargoes have not worked in the past and will not work now when it comes to making life better for the average Cuban.

One of the most significant movements in this relationship tug-of-war occurred on August 14th of this year. On that bright, hot day in Havana, Cuba, three US Marines raised the American flag at the US embassy located there. The flag had not flown over Cuba for 54 years; it being lowered back in 1961 by these same three Marines, all of whom are now retired. In attendance at the raising ceremony was Secretary of State John Kerry.

Jim Tracy, Mike East and Larry Morris
Jim Tracy, Mike East and Larry Morris

Jim Tracy, who is now 78 took part in the ceremony. He was one of three Marines tasked with lowering the flag in ’61 and now had the honor of raising it again. He said on a video interview posted by the State Department: “I’m gonna love seeing that flag go back up.” Tracy was a Master Gunnery Sergeant on January 4th 1961 when the US cut its ties with Cuba.

With Tracy on that fateful day were Corporal Mike East and Lance Corporal Larry Morris. As the three Marines marched out of the embassy, a large crowd of Cubans faced them. The crowd had arrived at the embassy seeking travel visas that would allow them to depart the island which was then in the midst of a violent Communist revolution headed by Fidel Castro. The crowd parted and the Marines carefully lowered the US flag and dutifully folded it.

Mike East, now 76, said on the recent State Department video: “It was a touching moment.” Cuba was the first posting for East as a member of the elite Marine embassy detachment. Larry Morris, now 75, said “The flag is coming back to where it should be.” “We are gathered here because our leaders made a courageous decision to stop being prisoners of history,” Kerry said to a jubilant crowd of both US tourists and island residents. Kerry is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Cuba since World War II.

Cuba is now under the control of Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother. Last July, Cuban officials inaugurated their embassy in Washington.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Robert Partain

Robert Partain has been a professional writer for over 25 years. He spent ten years on active duty in the Army working as a medic and training NCO. While he covers any topic associated with military life, he specializes in writing about legislation that can affect active duty service members and veterans. Robert currently lives in the small town of Arab, Alabama.
Robert Partain
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