U.S.-Cuba deal to restore ties to be unveiled on Wednesday

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AP Source: US, Cuba to Announce Embassy Openings Wednesday

The United States and Cuba have reached an agreement to reopen embassies and restore diplomatic ties severed more than five decades ago, and the historic deal will be unveiled on Wednesday, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

Nearly 6-1/2 months after U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro sealed a diplomatic breakthrough, Obama will announce the new steps toward rapprochement in the White House Rose Garden at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) Wednesday.

Signaling it is likely to act in sync with the United States, Cuba's Communist government said the chief of the U.S. mission, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, would meet the interim foreign minister in Havana on Wednesday to deliver a note from Obama to Castro on the re-establishment of ties between the two former Cold War rivals.

Obama and Castro met in Panama in April.

See photos from Obama and Castro's meeting:

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U.S.-Cuba deal to restore ties to be unveiled on Wednesday
The Cuban flag is raised over their new embassy in Washington, Monday, July 20, 2015. Cuba's blue, red and white-starred flag was hoisted Monday at the country's embassy in Washington in a symbolic move signaling the start of a new post-Cold War era in U.S.-Cuba relations. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, center, raises the Cuban flag over their new embassy in Washington, Monday, July 20, 2015. The United States and Cuba restored full diplomatic relations Monday after more than five decades of frosty relations rooted in the Cold War. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
A member of a Cuban honor guard salutes as Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, center, prepares to raise the Cuban flag over their new embassy in Washington, Monday, July 20, 2015. Cuba's blue, red and white-starred flag was hoisted Monday at the country's embassy in Washington in a symbolic move signaling the start of a new post-Cold War era in U.S.-Cuba relations. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
Workers at the US Department of State add the Cuban flag at to the display of flags inside the main entrance at 202 'C' Street at 4am local time (0800 GMT) in Washington, DC on July 20, 2015. The United States and Cuba formally resumed diplomatic relations on July 20, as the Cuban flag was raised at the US State Department in a historic gesture toward ending decades of hostility between the Cold War foes. AFP PHOTO / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
The last Cuban flag that was lowered from the Cuban Embassy in Washington on January 3, 1961 when relations between the United States and Cuba were severed, hangs in their new embassy in Washington, Monday, July 20, 2015. The United States and Cuba restored full diplomatic relations Monday after more than five decades of frosty relations rooted in the Cold War. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
A Cuban flag flies among empty flag polls near the U.S. Interests Section building, behind, in Havana, Sunday, July 19, 2015. Washington and Havana plan to officially restore diplomatic relations on Monday with the reopening of their embassies. While no formal ceremony is planned Monday for the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, it too will become a full-fledged embassy just after midnight as the Cold War foes formally enter a new era of engagement. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
A workman at the US Department of State add the Cuban flag at to the display of flags inside the main entrance at 202 'C' Street at 4am local time (0800 GMT) in Washington, DC on July 20, 2015. The United States and Cuba formally resumed diplomatic relations on July 20, as the Cuban flag was raised at the US State Department in a historic gesture toward ending decades of hostility between the Cold War foes. AFP PHOTO / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Edwardo Clark, a Cuban-American, holds an American flag and a Cuban flag as he celebrates outside the new Cuban embassy in Washington, Monday, July 20, 2015. The United States and Cuba restored full diplomatic relations Monday after more than five decades of frosty relations rooted in the Cold War. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The last Cuban flag that was lowered from the Cuban Embassy in Washington on January 3, 1961 when relations between the United States and Cuba were severed, hangs in their new embassy in Washington, Monday, July 20, 2015. The United States and Cuba restored full diplomatic relations Monday after more than five decades of frosty relations rooted in the Cold War. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
A man waves the US and Cuban flags as he walks in front of the new Cuban Embassy shortly before it's official ceremonial opening July 20, 2015, in Washington, DC. The United States and Cuba formally resumed diplomatic relations on July 20, as the Cuban flag was raised at the US State Department in a historic gesture toward ending decades of hostility between the Cold War foes. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama(R) speaks along side Vice President Joe Biden in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 1, 2015 in Washington, DC. Obama announced plans to reopen the US Embassy in Havana in an effort to reestablish diplomatic ties with Cold War enemy Cuba. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US Vice President Joe R. Biden listens while US President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House July 1, 2015 in Washington, DC. Obama announced plans to reopen the US Embassy in Havana in an effort to reestablish diplomatic ties with Cold War enemy Cuba. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama with Cuban President Raul Castro during their meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015. The leaders of the United States and Cuba held their first formal meeting in more than half a century on Saturday, clearing the way for a normalization of relations that had seemed unthinkable to both Cubans and Americans for generations. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Cuba's President Raul Castro (L) speaks with US President Barack Obama (R) on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas at the ATLAPA Convention center on April 11, 2015 in Panama City. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Cuba's President Raul Castro (L) on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas at the ATLAPA Convention center on April 11, 2015 in Panama City. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Cuba's President Raul Castro during a meeting on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas at the ATLAPA Convention center on April 11, 2015 in Panama City. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama, right, speaks as he joins other world leaders for the opening plenary of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015. Listening to Obama's remarks is Cuban President Raul Castro, center, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, left. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Cuba's President Raul Castro, right, shakes hands with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, center, as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, looks on during the official group photo of the Summit of the Americas, in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015. In a speech to world leaders at the opening plenary session, Castro absolved President Barack Obama of fault for the U.S. blockade in a stunning reversal of more than 50 years of animosity between the United States and Cuba. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Cuba's President Raul Castro (L) gestures as he speaks with US President Barack Obama (R) on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas at the ATLAPA Convention center on April 11, 2015 in Panama City. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama speaks during their meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015. The leaders of the United States and Cuba held their first formal meeting in more than half a century on Saturday, clearing the way for a normalization of relations that had seemed unthinkable to both Cubans and Americans for generations. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Cuba's President Raul Castro cups his ears to better hear a question shouted out at him during the official group photo of the VII Summit of the Americas, in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015. In a speech to world leaders at the opening plenary session, Castro absolved President Barack Obama of fault for the U.S. blockade in a stunning reversal of more than 50 years of animosity between the United States and Cuba. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
US President Barack Obama speaks at a civil society forum in the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas, at a hotel in Panama City on April 10, 2015. Obama told a forum of Latin American civil society members in Panama on Friday that the days of American meddling in the region were over. 'The days in which our agenda in this hemisphere so often presumed that the United States could meddle with impunity -- those days are passed,' Obama said hours before the start of the 35-nation Summit of the Americas, where he is coming face-to-face with Cuban leader Raul Castro amid their diplomatic thaw. AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama, right middle row, and Cuban President Raul Castro, left middle row, and other world Leaders participates in the inauguration ceremony of the Summit of the Americas arrival ceremony in Panama City, Panama, Friday, April 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Cuba's President Raul Castro talks at reporters before turning to leave the staging area of the official group photo of the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015. Castro is flanked by his personal assistant and grandson, Raul Guillermo Rodriguez Castro, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, and Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves. Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama held their first formal meeting in more than half a century on Saturday, clearing the way for a normalization of relations. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
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Both countries can now upgrade their so-called interests sections in Havana and Washington into full-blown embassies, with ambassadors to be appointed later. The State Department must give Congress a 15-day notice before opening an embassy.

"We will formally announce tomorrow that the United States and Cuba have reached an agreement to re-establish formal diplomatic relations and open embassies in each other's capitals," a senior U.S. official said.

Restoration of ties would be the latest phase in a normalization process that is expected to move slowly because of lingering problems over issues such as Cuba's human rights record, as well as Havana's desire to keep a tight rein on Cuba's society and its state-run economy.

A U.S. economic embargo against Cuba will remain in place, and only Congress can lift it.

U.S. officials say there is little, if any, chance that hardline anti-Castro lawmakers in Congress would be able to block the restoration of ties or reopening of embassies.

But Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican Cuban-American congresswoman from south Florida, said in a statement: "Opening the American Embassy in Cuba will do nothing to help the Cuban people and is just another trivial attempt for President Obama to go legacy shopping."

OUTCOME OF TOUGH NEGOTIATIONS

The United States and Cuba began secret negotiations on restoring ties in mid-2013, leading to the landmark announcement on Dec. 17, 2014, when Obama and Castro said separately that they had swapped prisoners and would seek to normalize relations.

That led to a series of meetings in Havana and Washington about restoring ties.

Cuba was formally removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism in late May, a critical step toward rapprochement 54 years after Washington cut off relations at the height of the Cold War and imposed the embargo.

Obstacles to normalization have included U.S. demands for relative freedom of movement for their diplomats on the island, comparable to that in China, Russia and Vietnam, while the Cubans had objected to U.S. training courses in journalism and information technology given at the U.S. interests section in Havana.

There were no immediate details on other outstanding differences between the countries, but Wednesday's announcement was a clear sign that major stumbling blocks had been removed.

PHOTOS: The beauty of Old Havana, Cuba:

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U.S.-Cuba deal to restore ties to be unveiled on Wednesday
A house in need of repair is seen on the Malecon in Old Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. Many buildings are terribly rundown. It’s not unusual to see the sky through a roofless stone facade or piles of rubble in the street. But (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
In this June 1, 2015 photo, a vendor, wearing a muscle shirt with a Cuban national flag motif, stands next to a souvenir T-shirt featuring Che Guevara, in the shop's doorway, in Old Havana, Cuba. Visitors who wander through Old Havana or Habana Vieja, as locals call it, will find that every street seems to have a sign attesting to something of cultural or historic significance. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2014 file photo - A street entertainer waits for tourists in Old Havana, Cuba. The thawing of U.S.-Cuba relations has inspired many Cubans to think big. Visits by Americans were up 36 percent between January and early May of 2015 compared to the same period a year ago, and up 14 percent among all international arrivals. That surge is likely to continue as interest in the destination grows and it gets easier for Americans to travel there. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan, File)
Traffic moves beside a building in need of repair, on the Malecon in Old Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. In some destinations, tourist areas are located far from the rhythms of everyday life. But visitors who wander through Old Havana or Habana Vieja, as locals call it, can’t help but get a sense of how ordinary Cubans live. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
Traffic moves beside a building in need of repair, on the Malecon in Old Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. In some destinations, tourist areas are located far from the rhythms of everyday life. But visitors who wander through Old Havana or Habana Vieja, as locals call it, can’t help but get a sense of how ordinary Cubans live. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
Tourists eat at the paladar O'Reilly 304 in Old Havana, Cuba, Monday, June 1, 2015. When eating in Havana, stick to "paladares" - privately owned restaurants. You'll need reservations for the best. Prices are moderate but not cheap. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
A vendor sells Ernesto "Che" Guevara T-shirts and other souvenirs in Old Havana, Cuba, Monday, June 1, 2015. Travel experts and upscale magazines are urging travel to Cuba before it changes. But visitors envisioning salsa in the streets and glamorous vintage cars should also be prepared to manage without ATMs, credit cards, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, seat belts or toilet paper. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
In this May 17, 2015 photo, pedestrians walk on a narrow street in Old Havana, Cuba. It's not unusual to see the sky through a roofless stone facade or piles of rubble in the street. But other sites have been beautifully restored, especially around the squares in the eastern half of the neighborhood bordering the water. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)
In this May 17, 2015 photo, air dried laundry hang from makeshift clotheslines on balconies in Old Havana, Cuba. In some destinations, tourist areas are located far from the rhythms of everyday life. But But visitors who wander through Old Havana will get a glimpse of uniformed school children walking past, street vendors selling colorful fruits and peppers from carts, clotheslines on patios, and small dogs sunning themselves on sidewalks. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)
In this May 18, 2015 photo, visitors tour the Ambos Mundos Hotel where writer Ernest Hemingway stayed, in Old Havana, Cuba. The hotel is one of a number of attractions in the Havana neighborhood. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)
In this May 18, 2015 photo, a dog curls up on a stone street in Old Havana. The neighborhood is filled with tourist attractions and historic sites but it's also a place where visitors can observe the rhythms of daily life. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)
In this May 24, 2015 photo, a message believed to have been written by late U.S. novelist Ernest Hemingway, hangs framed at the bar inside La Bodeguita del Medio in Old Havana, Cuba. The writing reads: "My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita." (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
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