HAVANA (WSVN) — The countdown for the re-opening of the American Embassy in Havana is already underway.

Secretary of State John Kerry will be on-hand to mark the diplomatic and symbolic moment.

Differences still remain and former dictator Fidel Castro made it clear Thursday afternoon. Castro will release a statement in regards to the new agreement with the United States.

Preparations continue to advance at the American Embassy for the arrival of the Secretary of State, Friday morning.

The beautification efforts to the building are all to welcome Kerry, as well as other dignitaries for the ceremonial raising of the U.S. flag outside the recently re-opened American Embassy in Havana.

Hopefuls expect that the new coalition will open new doors for change. "For everybody, it's just like God's gift," said one supporter.

There are still major disagreements over the new chapter in the U.S., Cuba relations.

The U.S. will continue to press for human rights and political reform and to collect on money owed up to $8 billion in property seized by the Cuban government after the revolution.

The Cubans, however, want the U.S. to give up their claim to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, be paid for damage that was caused by the U.S. embargo and see the sanctions lifted.

In an open letter in the state-run newspaper, Castro used his 89th birthday on Thursday to insist that the U.S. owes Cuba "many millions of dollars."

Some have expressed their doubts, but Kerry has said having an embassy in Cuba will help the U.S. achieve its ultimate goal in the country. "There's no question in my mind, we will have a better opportunity to stand up and fight for human rights, right there, being there with an ambassador, with an embassy, able to engage with the people of Cuba," he said.

Kerry will hear any opposing views while in Cuba by meeting with a group of dissidents during a private event, late Friday. Some dissidents have declined the invitation to the event because they feel slighted that they were not included in the event that will happen earlier in the day.

The coalition goes against the belief for a dissident group, Ladies in White. "This second ceremony is a way to exclude us and let us in through the back door," said the leader of the group, Berta Soler, through a translator.

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