Obama Is Going to Cuba

He'll be the first sitting US president in Havana since Coolidge
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2016 3:34 AM CST
Updated Feb 18, 2016 9:05 AM CST
Sources: Obama to Visit Cuba
In this Sept. 29, 2015, photo, President Obama stands with Cuban President Raul Castro before a bilateral meeting at United Nations headquarters.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Obama next month will become the first sitting US president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge's trip to Havana in 1928. Obama announced the trip on Twitter Thursday, and ABC News reports that he'll be there March 21-22. The visit will mark a watershed moment for relations between the US and Cuba and will be part of a broader trip to Latin America, reports the AP. (President Harry Truman visited US-controlled Guantanamo Bay on the southeast end of the island in 1948, and former Jimmy Carter has paid multiple visits to the island since leaving office.)

Word of Obama's travel plans drew immediate resistance from opponents of warmer ties with Cuba—including Republican presidential candidates. Ted Cruz, whose father fled to the US from Cuba in the 1950s, said Obama shouldn't visit while the Castro family remains in power. Marco Rubio, another child of Cuban immigrants, lambasted the president for visiting what he called an "anti-American communist dictatorship." "Today, a year and two months after the opening of Cuba, the Cuban government remains as oppressive as ever," Rubio said on CNN. Told of Obama's intention to visit, he added, "Probably not going to invite me." (An Alabama tractor-maker is the first US firm to set up shop in Cuba since the revolution.)

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