On Thursday, September 17, Cuban diplomat José Ramón Cabañas presented his credentials to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to officially become the first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the island to Washington in over half a century.
Regarding the Cuban diplomatic mission’s short term plans, he explained that they will continue to spread the truth about the island, promote new relations and clarify all the remaining obstacles to normal relations between the two countries.
Cabañas, who graduated from the Raúl Roa García Higher Institute of International Relations (ISRI) in 1983, became head of the then Cuban Interests Section in the United States in late 2012. Following the announcements of December 17, 2014, he was one of the participants in the talks held in Havana and Washington for the reestablishment of diplomatic relations and the reopening of embassies. Since July 20, when the reestablishment of diplomatic ties came into effect, and through to his appointment, the diplomat served as interim Chargé d’affaires of the Cuban Embassy in Washington.
During his over 30-year career, Cabañas has served different roles in the North America section of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, as well as in other missions abroad. He was Ambassador to Austria, representative to the UN agencies in Vienna, head of the Department of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad and served as Deputy Foreign Minister before his appointment in Washington.