Cuban flag flies above Borough Hall in gesture of friendship • Brooklyn Paper

Cuban flag flies above Borough Hall in gesture of friendship

Friends forever: Borough President Adams speaks outside Borough Hall on July 31, where he raised the Cuban flag for International Friendship Day.
Photo by Jason Speakman

¡Viva Cuba!

The Cuban flag flew above Borough Hall as a sign of solidarity between Brooklyn and the island nation in recognition of newly restored diplomatic ties between it and the United States. The communist country has long drawn criticism for human rights abuses, but Borough President Adams said now is the time for the United States — and Brooklyn, “the center of the universe” — to work with Cuba as it works for a better future.

“Cuba is on its way to addressing many of the issues it had in the past,” Adams said on July 31, before the flag-raising in Cadman Plaza. “If you can show me one country where innocent people are not shot by police officers, one country where people aren’t being displaced from their homes, then I will say we cannot fly this flag over Borough Hall. But until then, we cannot challenge one country only.”

Hola, Cuba: The Cuban flag flies above Borough Hall on July 31.
Photo by Jason Speakman

The flag-raising preceded a celebration on Sunday of the United Nations holiday of International Friendship Day, observed on July 30.

Adams marched on Sunday with flag-bearing delegations from countries including China and the Dominican Republic to celebrate friendly relations between nations, ending in with a fiesta in Cadman Plaza that included a belly dance by the Beep himself.

Adams may have been a newbie, but he was the best (okay, only) belly-dancing borough president his instructor has worked with yet.

Move your belly: Borough President Adams gets a belly-dancing lesson from instructor Krystal Garabedian.
Photo by Micah Saperstein

“He did awesome,” said belly dancer Krystal Garabedian, of Queens. “It was a good job, for his first time.”

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Friend or foe: Chinese dragons duke it out at the Brooklyn celebration of International Friendship Day on Aug. 2.
Photo by Micah Saperstein

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