Photos: U.S. and Cuba Restore Diplomatic Relations

The Cuban flag flutters at the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., on July 20. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Monday marked two historic moments in the diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, as embassies in both countries' capitals opened just after midnight and the island nation's flag officially was raised in Washington, D.C., for the first time in more than five decades.

The Cuban national anthem played as three uniformed soldiers prepared the flag for Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez to raise outside of the newly established embassy in Washington. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Cuba on August 14 to raise the American flag in Havana.

The historic moves came seven months after President Barack Obama announced his plans to normalize relations between the two countries.

"We don't have to be imprisoned by the past," Obama said earlier this month, as U.S. and Cuban diplomats prepared to open embassies in each other's capitals. "When something isn't working, we can and will change."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomes Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez to his office at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on July 20. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Bruno presser
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez speaks publicly after the flag-raising ceremony in Washington, D.C., on July 20. Andrew Harnik/Pool/Reuters
The Cuban national flag is seen raised over the island country's new embassy. Carlos Barria/Reuters
Police officers detain protester Danilo Maldonado after he splattered red paint from a pouch hidden in his clothing. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez raises the Cuban flag. Andrew Harnik/Pool/Reuters
Raising flag
The honor guard prepares the flag. Andrew Harnik/Pool/Reuters
Honor Guard
Members of the Cuban honor guard stand at attention. Andrew Harnik/Pool/Reuters
Cuba crowd
A crowd forms across the street from the Cuban embassy in D.C. Andrew Harnik/Pool/Reuters
Cuba crows1
People gather outside the Cuban embassy. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
american flag clothes
Cubans wearing the colors of the U.S. flag walk on a street in Havana, Cuba, shortly after the embassies were reopened earlier on July 20. Enrique de la Osa/Reuters
A small card for members of the Cuban Delegation is placed on the ground outside in front of their new embassy to watch the Cuban flag being raised in D.C. Andrew Harnik/Pool/Reuters
The newly reopened Cuban embassy is seen in the background as a man holds U.S. and Cuban national flags in Washington, D.C. Carlos Barria/Reuters
flag hallway
The last Cuban flag that was lowered from the Cuban Embassy in Washington on January 3, 1961, is seen hanging in the new embassy in Washington, D.C., on July 20. Andrew Harnik/Pool/Reuters