US-Cuba Diplomatic Ties Restored

Barack Obama and Raul Castro

File -US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.

More than five decades of Cold War and lingering enmity have come to an end as the United States and Cuba restored full diplomatic relations.

The new era of US-Cuba relations began today with little fanfare in Washington and Havana as the terms of an agreement resuming full ties from midnight local time came into force.

The Cuban flag will be hung quietly in the lobby of the US State Department alongside those of other nations with which America has diplomatic relations.

The shift will be memorialized publicly later when Cuban officials formally reopen their embassy in Washington.

US secretary of state John Kerry will then meet his Cuban counterpart and address reporters at a joint news conference.