Stars And Stripes Once Again Flies Over U.S. Embassy In Cuba (VIDEO)

On January 4, 1961, U.S. Marines Jim Tracy, F.W. “Mike” East, and Larry C. Morris, guards assigned to protect the U.S. Embassy in Havana Cuba, lowered the American flag outside the embassy for the last time in 54 years. Friday, those same three men returned to Cuba with Secretary of State John Kerry, and as if not a single day of those 54 years had passed, passed that flag to the three young men who were taking over their position, and raised Old Glory over our embassy once again.

After the flag raising, some words of encouragement and inspiration were given by our Secretary of State to commence the occasion. Among his words, some prejudices and misinformation, likely propaganda he was not even aware had been set as stone in his mind, did leak out. At one point he said that Cuba “would be best served by a genuine democracy,” which is a good soundclip, but does not ring true. In fact, Cuba is one of the most successful participatory democracies in the world. However, even with such a gaffe, he did demonstrate a wisdom often lacking in modern politics with a single statement.

Cuba’s future is for Cubans to shape.

No nation can be set in stone from without, only from within. An external system will inevitably be rejected for a native solution, no matter what we do. This simple statement shows a wisdom from the highly decorate Vietnam war veteran which many of his contemporaries have lacked. United States foreign policy is filled with failed regimes which the U.S. had set up. From Saigon to Kabul, the United States has tried to force our own systems upon other cultures, and witnessed them collapse rapidly into corruption, terror, and civil war.

By taking this new approach, and by engaging with Cuba not as an enemy, but as a neighbor with a different point of view, the United States has created a new paradigm for the world. It will take a long time, and a lot of effort, but it gives us all hope that Pax America can be dismantled, and this new peaceful leader of democracy can replace the tyrannical bully who has dominated the globe for near a century.

Featured image via video screen capture of newly raised flag over U.S. Embassy, Havana Cuba