President Obama’s Historic Visit to Cuba

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( — March 22, 2016) —President Barack Obama is the first U.S. president to visit communist Cuba in the last 88 years. He has already met Raul Castro, President of Cuba, three times, but this will the first time that the two presidents meet in Havana, the capital of Cuba.

President Obama landed in Havana on Sunday and will be staying with his family – First Lady Michelle Obama, the couple’s daughters Malia Ann and Natasha, and mother-in-law Marian Robinson, for three days.

Ahead of the meeting, the U.S. President said that he expected a change in Cuba.

“Change is going to happen [in Cuba] and I think that [President] Raul Castro understands that,” said Obama to the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). The U.S. President added that this change will not happen overnight.

Barack Obama recalled that they have already reopened the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, and although there are still considerable disagreements between the U.S. and Cuba over the issue of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba, both countries feel that they now need to step up their efforts to see a greater change.

The U.S. embassy in Havana was reopened in August last year. During his visit to the Embassy, Barack Obama welcomed staff and thanked them for their constant work and effort to bring Cuba and the U.S closer.

The Air Force landed at Jose Marti International Airport on Sunday at 4:19 p.m with the U.S. president and his family. The guests from America were not welcomed by Cuban leader Raul Castro, but Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, who presented First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters with flowers.

After he stepped on Cuban soil, Barack Obama said that in 1928, President Coolidge arrived on a warship, after three days of traveling, but now it only took three hours to get to Cuba.

After meeting with American diplomats in the reopened embassy on Sunday, Obama and his family visited the Cathedral where the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Cuba and Pope Francis celebrated Mass last year.

After the Cathedral, they visited a local museum, which had prominently displayed a 1963 painting of Abraham Lincoln for the occasion. Then, the first family went on to dinner at a highly rated restaurant.

On Monday, the U.S. president and his delegation will meet with Cuban President Raul Castro, the brother of the retired revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

It will be a historic meeting of the two presidents as Obama is the first U.S. president to visit Cuba since the revolution in 1959, when the hostility between the two countries started.

According to Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more than 970 reporters from 202 news outlets from 50 countries were in Havana to cover Obama’s trip.