Obama and family touched down in Cuba this weekend, which makes him the first U.S. president to do so since 1928 when Calvin Coolidge did.
Obama is of course the first U.S. president to enter after Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution dissolved the open door relationship between the two countries.
�Que bolá Cuba? Just touched down here, looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people.
— President Obama (@POTUS) March 20, 2016
The president greeted U.S. Embassy staff and their families at a Havana hotel.
“This is a historic visit. It’s an historic opportunity to engage with the Cuban people.”
Obama is joined on the trip by the first lady and their daughters, and the family is staying in a grand embassy mansion that is about half the size of the White House.
Obama and president Raúl Castro first shook hands at Nelson Mandela’s funeral, and on Monday they will meet again, although some speculate that there are multiple reasons for the move.
Kevin Casas-Zamora, a former vice-president of Costa Rica says:
“There is a lot of talk that the purpose of opening up the relationship is to bring about change in Cuba, I don’t think that’s the case. Obama is doing this not for Cuba’s sake, but the US’s sake, because this had become an embarrassment for the US – a major obstacle in the relationship with Latin America.”
The American delegation brought somewhere between 800 and 1,200 people into Havana this weekend, which ended up pushing many tourists outside of the city limits. Even the Rolling Stones were affected by Obama’s visit, as they were planning a show in Revolution Square.
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