“We want to help shape the very careful and very cautious opening we are seeing in Cuba by intensifying our bilateral relations with Cuba and expanding our partnership politically, economically and culturally”, said the spokesman, Martin Schaefer.
The day will also witness raising of U.S. and Cuban flags in Havana and Washington to mark the historic reopening of their diplomatic ties. Kerry will meet Rodríguez at the State Department on Monday.
There are now no plans for a meeting with President Raul Castro or his brother Fidel.
The State Department will start flying the Cuban flag in its lobby on Monday, an act that symbolizes the re-establishment of normalized relations between the U.S. and Cuba for the first time in more than 54 years.
Kirby said that while Cuba is “not a restriction-free environment”, the U.S.is confident that its staff “will be able to do the job that they need to do”.
On Havana’s side, Castro has urged Obama to use his executive powers to “dismantle” the economic embargo in place since 1962, calling it the main stumbling block towards normalization between the two nations. The United States soon recognizes the new government.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier will be in Cuba Thursday and Friday on the first visit to the island by a German foreign minister since German reunification in 1990, his office said. For imports into Germany, Cuba is 125th on Berlin’s list.
Diplomatic relations will be restored on Monday when the so-called interests sections in Washington and Havana will be upgraded to embassies.
On Monday, Rodriguez will preside over the ceremony to restore the Cuban interests section to an embassy to be attended by some 500 guests, including a 30-strong Cuban delegation.
Other issues on the agenda include civil aviation ties, the fight against drug trafficking and opening up communications. The Cubans will be working alongside about 35 interns, each taking classes while matched with one of the 19 startups housed at Grand Central Tech as part of a year-long program aimed at helping them build their businesses.