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Tough work ahead for U.S.-Cuba relations

Secretary of State John Kerry and other dignitaries

Secretary of State John Kerry and other dignitaries watch as U.S. Marines raise the U.S. flag over the newly reopened embassy in Havana, Cuba, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Now that flags have been raised re-establishing embassies in Cuba and the United States, what comes next in the thaw between the two nations is largely unscripted.

During the ceremony in Havana on Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry asked Congress to lift the trade embargo with Cuba and urged the Castro regime to restore a democratic government. Full restoration of diplomatic relations must take that twin path. The Castro government denies civil and religious freedoms to Cubans. It jails political opponents and censors local and foreign media, ranking among the world's worst nations in the free exchange of ideas.

This new start was inevitable; enemies become friends. Critics should take a look at travel brochures offering luxury cruises on Vietnam's Mekong River.

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