Essay on People All Over The World

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When Wayne Smith left Havana in 1961, he opted with other US diplomats would not take more than five years to return to hoist their flag in Cuba. Over half a century after the ceremony on Friday it will be for him as a "back home" that has been waiting almost a lifetime.

"It will be an emotional moment," said the former diplomat of 82 years in an interview with Efe.

Smith had worked at the US Embassy in Havana under three years when both countries broke relations in 1961, and later became head of the US Interests Section in Cuba, academic and foremost advocate of the need to dialogue between the Cold War foes.

Friday, Smith will attend the ceremony of hoisting the American flag at the embassy in Havana during the visit of John Kerry, the first to Cuba of a US secretary of state in 70 years.

"It will be almost like coming home," said Smith, who has followed linked to Cuba throughout his career and even visit the island "between two and three times a year."

"I remember when (in 1961) went by bus with the rest of the embassy staff to the ferry that would take us to America. We talked (the closure of the embassy) and all we thought maybe it would take four or five years to return, no more than that. And it took 54 years! It is inconceivable, "he said.

Smith was one of the few American diplomats who managed to have a good relationship with the Cuban president Fidel Castro and his brother Raul, because "always" left "clearly believed in dialogue".

In 1982, Smith left the Foreign Service of the United States after three years as head of the US Interests Section is now the US embassy in Havana, because the Republican Ronald Reagan came to power in Washington and "did not want any improvement relations with Cuba. "

"Fidel Castro hosted a farewell lunch me. And I said clearly that he did not agree with the policy we were following (in the US) and, therefore, did not follow in the foreign service," he recalled.

"All those years, from 1982-2014, dedicated myself to push the idea of dialogue, I took delegations to Cuba, I wrote articles and invited Cubans to the United States," the former diplomat, who was also a professor at Johns Hopkins.

On the eve of the historic announcement of US presidents, Barack Obama and Cuba, Raul Castro, last December, Smith attended in Havana in a tribute to his career and once again defended the need to restore diplomatic relations.

"The next morning, Obama and Castro announced that they would give some of the steps I had mentioned, and several people (at the conference) said. Well, Wayne should have much influence Of course, I had no idea of…