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INTERNATIONAL

US embassy to reopen in Cuba

Temas:

A giant fence worn by the rain and the sun of the Caribbean reads in white letters: "We prefer to cling to hope."

The sign, located on one of the main streets of Havana, sums up the general feeling in the city as it awaits the re-establishment of relations with the United States, which takes a major step forward today with the re-opening of the U.S. embassy.

The change has instilled hope, expectation and anxiety in thousands of Cubans. Something is about to happen, and on the streets, Cubans can feel it.

Héctor Suárez has high hopes for the future. Impeccably dressed in a white shirt, jeans and meticulously polished dress shoes, the Havana resident's feelings can be summed up in a sentence, "I want a future."

"We want wifi, technology, we don't have those things," he said. "We need a future, and we are betting those things come with the American tourists."

He said the change will be a new chapter in the country's history.

"This is another generation, we are not our parents, we think differently, we want other things," he said.

Marta Camargo has an easy laugh and a vibrant voice. She too has her eyes on the future.

"Step by step, that's what it is going to take, the changes are not going to happen immediately," she said. "First the Americans have to remove the blockade and return Guantanamo."

"Socialism or death," says a mural. Héctor Suárez doesn't seem to agree with that sentiment.

"We think very different from our parents, we want opportunities," he said.

Driving a Pontiac from the 1950s, a man who identified himself only as Federico pondered what his future will be.

"I hope that everything is for the better," he said. "As far as changes, I really haven't seen them, although if there are more tourists..."

He is lost in thought for a moment, then returns to the theme that is repeated often in the capital city.

"The last thing you lose is hope," he said.

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