A throng of people gathered earlier this morning and cheered in celebration at the sight of the Cuban flag waving in front of the country’s newly reopened embassy at 2630 16th Street NW
Diplomats lined the front wall of the embassy and cheered as decorated guards raised the red, blue and white banner.
Like most political ceremonies, the event included some protestors, too.
One man stepped out of his brown leather shoes, peeled off the top layer of his shirt and sprinted across the busy street. He then hopped a row of sidewalk barricades, ran toward the embassy gate and covered himself in fake blood. Officials detained the protestor at the gate.
Others held up banners and chanted anti-Cuba slogans.
Despite the jeers, most locals attending the ceremony seemed to welcome their new neighbors.
Alejandro Sánchez Nieto, who works a few blocks away, said he thinks the embassy will bring new people to Meridian Hill.
“You’ll have more people coming to the embassy for visas, which means they’re going to know the area and the other embassies around here,” Nieto said.
“Now that the embassy is restored to full potential, hopefully in 2016 during Embassy Day you will have the Cuban Embassy open to the public, which would be a big opportunity for people to visit this community,” added Nieto.