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Amid Opposition, Preps Continue For U.S. Embassy In Cuba

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- As preps are underway for the reopening of the Cuban embassy, there are mixed feelings about the American flag flying in the island nation.

Friday's ceremonial raising of the American flag will be the first time the 'stars and stripes' will fly over the building in 54 years.

Secretary of State John Kerry will be at the historic event and has shown his excitement about it on social media.

Kerry tweeted in part on Wednesday, "Looking fwd to Friday's Havana visit" and "US better served by engagement than estrangement."

Cuban-American poet, and South Florida native, Richard Blanco is also going to participate in the ceremony.

While some are happy about the renewed relations, some Cuban American leaders in South Florida are appalled.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen issued a statement on the matter Thursday morning, saying in part, "John Kerry's presence in Havana on his global capitulation tour is yet another example of the Obama administration's desire to pursue deals at any cost. While the Castro brothers will roll out the red carpet for Secretary Kerry, the people of Cuba will continue to be met with violence and detentions."

On Wednesday, she was joined by U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart who said, "He might as well be raising the white flag of surrender because that is what this shameful day is really about."

While Kerry will be at the event, the Cuban leader Raul Castro and his brother Fidel will not be there.  Also on the list of those not attending are dissidents from Cuba who were not invited to the event. 

Rick Folbaum Live Reports From Cuba

CBS4's Rick Folbaum is in Cuba and will have the latest from the island nation on CBS4 News at 5 p.m. He will also be covering the ceremony on Friday.

Click here for more on Cuba.

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