These offices, sections of the respective embassies, were staffed by Swiss and Czechoslovak diplomats.
US and Cuban Interests Sections staffed by actual US and Cuban diplomats were mutually agreed upon in 1977 after the Carter Administration took office and decided to seek normalization of relations with Cuba.
During the first two years of resumed US presence, only one US passenger aircraft was hijacked to Cuba from the US.
President Castro went personally to the airport to manage the June 12, 1979, hijacking incident involving Delta Air Lines flight 1061, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar piloted by Captain Vince Doda.
The initial American staffing of the Section consisted of ten State Department Officials and a plain clothes US Marine guard detachment.
When relations were broken in 1961, the building was occupied, and its contents safeguarded, by the Swiss diplomats who handled US interests in Cuba on behalf of the US Government as the protecting power until the arrival of the US staff in 1977.
The Swiss staff included some of the Foreign Service National employees who were working at the US Embassy when relations were broken.
When they re-entered the building, they found items dating from the 1950s, including Eisenhower's photograph.
Wayne Smith, who had closed the Embassy in 1961 as a young officer, replaced Lane in September 1979 when the entire US staff turned over after an initial two-year tour of duty.The first attempt to send them out through Canada failed when the flight attendants on a regular Air Canada flight refused to fly with them even with a contingent of Mounted Police providing security.