No U.S. secretary of State has visited Havana since Edward R. Stettinius Jr. stopped by for a day in March 1945 to show American support for a fragile and short-lived democratic government.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry will end that long absence Friday when he flies to the Cuban capital to raise the U.S. flag and formally reopen the long-closed U.S. Embassy, giving another push to efforts to normalize ties between the former Cold War foes.
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