PRESIDENT of the US, Barack Obama, has landed in Cuba. He is the first American president to visit the country for 88 years.
On landing in Jose Marti International Airport Havana, Obama tweeted: “What’s up Cuba? Just touched down here, looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people.” Obama has called the visit “historic”.
The US president was greeted by foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez and is due to meet the communist leader Raul Castro later in his visit. They are to discuss diplomatic relations between the two countries as commercial flights are now resuming between the once hostile nations.
Mr Obama travelled with his family including daughters Malia and Sasha, the first lady and her mother. They later began a walking tour in the historic Old Havana so they could interact with local Cubans but a tropical thunder storm put paid to the perfect photo-opportunity whilst they huddled together under umbrellas.
Currently an economic embargo of Cuba from the US is still in place after Republicans in the senate blocked the diplomat´s decision to repeal this act.
After their arrival, the President called his visit an “historic opportunity to engage with the Cuban people”.
He continued that “It is wonderful to be here”.
The last president to visit was Coolidge back in 1928 when he arrived on a battle-ship. It is the first time that Air Force One has landed in the country.
Even though relations are slowly thawing, with embassies recently re-opening, only a few hours before landing demonstrators were arrested in the capital after calling for the release of political prisoners.