Updated 01:43 AM EST, Wed, Jan 27, 2021

U.S. President Barack Obama Hopes to Open Embassy in Cuba

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The United States could open an embassy in Cuba any time soon.

In an interview with Reuters on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama said that he hopes the U.S. will open an embassy in Cuba before the April 10-11 Western Hemisphere Summit of the Americas in Panama City.

"My hope is that we will be able to open an embassy, and that some of the initial groundwork will have been laid," Obama told Reuters. "Keep in mind that our expectation has never been that we would achieve full normal relations immediately. There's a lot of work that still has to be done."

The president explained that "it will take more time" for the full establishment of the country's relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of discord, the news outlet wrote. Washington and Havana, the capital cities of the U.S. and Cuba, respectively, announced on December 17 that plans to restore diplomatic relations followed after "18 months of secret face-to-face talks," the report added.

Josefina Vidal, head of the United States division of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, said that Cuba will welcome the restoration of diplomatic relations once the Obama administration takes Cuba off "a list of state sponsors of terrorism," Reuters noted. This was the first time that the island country spoke publicly about its willingness to restore relations with the U.S. before its removal from the list.

Obama also added that the restoration aims to open up relations to Cuba which would ultimately lead to significant changes in the Caribbean country, Reuters noted.

"The very fact that, since our announcement, the Cuban government has begun to discuss ways in which they are going to reorganize their economy to accommodate for possible foreign investment, that's already forcing a series of changes that promises to open up more opportunities for entrepreneurs, more transparency in terms of what's happening in their economy," Obama remarked, as quoted by the news outlet.

Conan O'Brien, Paris Hilton among Celebrities In Cuba

Just recently, TV host Conan O'Brien visited Cuba to shoot a special episode of his talk show "Conan." According to ABC News, O'Brien mingled with the Cuban citizens and immersed himself in the island's culture.

"I do not want this to be a snarky comedy take. And I don't want to be political. I want to go as a sort of comedian who is making fun of himself and make the Cuban people laugh." O'Brien said, as reported by the news outlet. "Maybe it isn't a bad form of diplomacy to send a comedian over. Maybe that's not a bad first wave."

Aside from O'Brien, hotel heiress Paris Hilton also visited Cuba over the weekend. Fox News Latino reported that the socialite paid a visit to Habana Hilton Hotel, which her grandfather built in 1958. She documented her entire trip on her Instagram page, letting her followers take a peek at some of Cuba's iconic views.

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