United States and Cuba Restore Diplomatic Ties

September 2, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. restore /rɪˈstɔr/ (v.) – to bring back or re-establish something
Example: The country was able to restore economic stability a few years after the war.

2. embassy /ˈɛm bə si/ (n.) – the building where a country’s ambassador or representative works
Example: The U.S. Embassy is closed on the last day of the year.

3. normalize /ˈnɔr məˌlaɪz/ (v.) – to return to the normal state or condition
Example: The two countries decided to normalize their relations after being in a cold war for ten years.

4. migration /maɪˈgreɪ ʃən/  (n.) – the act of moving from one country to live in another
Example: Illegal migration is a big problem in our country.

5. stiff /stɪf/ (adj.) – not friendly
Example: The stiff relations between the presidential candidates are evident during the debate.


Read the text below.
The United States and Cuba have agreed to restore their diplomatic relations, starting with the establishment of embassies in each other’s capitals.

Although the United States and Cuba have agreed on a settlement, both countries still have a few differences that need to be resolved. Restoring diplomatic ties and reopening embassies are the most recent steps taken as part of a plan to normalize the countries’ relations with each other.

In July, the Cuban Embassy officially became open for business in the state of Washington. Bruno Rodríguez, the foreign minister of Cuba, led the embassy’s flag-raising ceremony. The US Embassy also opened in Havana, Cuba, in July, while its flag-raising ceremony was held in August.

As part of their restored diplomatic ties, the United States and Cuba will be working on important matters, such as migration, environmental protection, anti-narcotics measures, and human trafficking. The restoration of the countries’ diplomatic ties also led to Cuba’s removal from Washington’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Both countries have been in stiff relations since the 1960s, when the United States actively participated in opposing Cuba’s president, Fidel Castro. The government of the United States lost its trust in Cuba after discovering that its government was strongly anti-American.

More than 50 years later, President Obama expressed his desire to restore relations with Cuba in 2011. During his second term, Obama decided to restore the country’s diplomatic ties with Cuba, allowing secret negotiations to make this happen.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What can be the pros and cons of the United States and Cuba working together?
·         If you were the president of the United States, would you have restored the country’s ties with Cuba? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What are some possible causes of conflict between two countries?
·         How else can disputing countries resolve their conflict?

September 2, 2015