Jimmy Carter Lands in Cuba

He may push for release of American prisoner

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 28, 2011 12:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – In a bid to thaw tense US-Cuba relations, former President Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba today for a three-day stay. Carter was invited by the Cuban government and will meet with President Raul Castro; the Carter Center calls the trip a "private, nongovernmental mission." But Politico notes that the trip still signals an attempt to improve relations. Carter is the only current or former president who has visited Cuba since Fidel Castro took control in 1959.

Carter, who negotiated for the release of an American imprisoned in North Korea last year, will also likely push for the release of Alan Gross. Gross is an American State Department contractor who was sentenced earlier this month to 15 years in prison for providing illegal Internet access to political dissidents. Click for more on Gross's case.

Former President Jimmy Carter, right, looks at a security agent as he arrives to the Jose Marti airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, March 29, 2011.
Former President Jimmy Carter, right, looks at a security agent as he arrives to the Jose Marti airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, March 29, 2011.   (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)
Accompanied by Cuba's government officials, former President Jimmy Carter, front left, waves to media members upon his arrival to the Jose Marti airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, March 29, 2011.
Accompanied by Cuba's government officials, former President Jimmy Carter, front left, waves to media members upon his arrival to the Jose Marti airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, March 29, 2011.   (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)
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