The American and Cuban embassies in Havana and Washington, D.C. have reopened, and this means more than just a key turning point in travel and trade. This means you can take a new look inside the opulent building. The building was constructed in 1917 and served as the Cuban embassy until 1961. This is the first time since its closing that the embassy has been open. While the Cuban embassy was closed, it functioned as an Interests Section for Cuba. It closed again in 2003 with 14 Cuban diplomats expelled, accused by the United Nations of espionage and "inappropriate and unacceptable activities." With the grand reopening, a brand new flagpole was in place to fly the Cuban flag. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla arrived to the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. to raise his country's flag. Despite the embassy's grand opening, travel restrictions and the trade embargo still remain in place.