President Obama Arrives in Cuba

Time: 1:53 p.m. CEST

President Barack Obama and the U.S. delegation arrive on Sunday in Havana for a historic two-day visit to Cuba. Obama is the first sitting president of the United States coming to Cuba after 88 years. Air Force One landed on Sunday in Cuba. It is raining in Havana. Cuba’s Foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez greeted the first family.

The event, already marked as a historic, provoke reactions across the globe from France to China with journalists and media tweeting on different aspects of the visit. Here are some of the tweets capturing moments of landing or adds welcoming to Cuba for the American President.

Earlier, the members of the White House press pool covered the departure of the Air Force One.

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President Barack Obama, first lady Michele Obama, their two daughter Sasha and Malia, and other members of the U.S. delegation visit Cuba March 20-22, which will be the visit of the first sitting U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge last visited Cuba in 1928.

The U.S. delegation and Obama arrived in Havana on Sunday in the visit that should mark another stage in the normalization in the relations after isolation policies the U. S. tried for decades. The visit should open more space for greater freedom, the easing the movement of people, good and information. Moreover, it should ease some rules that before banned Americans to travel and buy goods from Cuba.

The communist ruling of Raul Castro, a brother of Fidel Castro resulted with attempt to broaden relations with the U.S. and open the border gates. President Obama find its own explanation for the re-opening of the embassies and for the gradual normalization of relations, which included, but did not stop to liberation of the people accused for espionage in both countries in the past years of isolation.

“We have taken away an excuse that the Castro regime constantly used for why it could not give greater opportunity or freedom to its people, which was that the heavy-handed neighbor to the north was preventing them, or sabotaging them,” Obama said “That is no longer an excuse that is viable,” Obama said in an interview with the network.

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Obama’s visit will metaphorically signal that the new rules on banking, financial transactions will make the remittances easier, and that Cubans could work in the United States under temporary visas or it could visit the U.S. for scholarships, seminars or conferences.

For the Americans, the tourism ban will stay in place, with new rules only removing previous ban that only educational travel are permitted. Previously, Americans who wished to visit Cuba could do that only with the companies licensed by the Treasury Department. The U.S. will resume flights to Cuba, with Delta Air Lines already submitting an application with the U.S. government for flights from Atlanta, New York City, Miami and Orlando. It is expected the flights to resume this year with “a total of 20 daily round-trip flights between the U.S. and Havana and 10 daily round flights to nine other Cuban cities with international airports.”

Cuba made its re-entry on the global scene after in April 2015, Cuban attended the Summit of the Americas, where President Barack Obama and Cuba’s President Raul Castro shook their hand for the first face-to-face meeting since the period of the Cold War. Later, the White House officials announced Obama would remove Cuba from the U.S. State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism, where the U.S. listed them since 1982, for the alleged support of various rebel groups, including Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC.

During the two-day visit Obama will see some historical places in Cuba, but will also hold the talk with the President Raul Castro. Today’s Cuba is changing, but slowly. Internet access is very law with five to 25% of Cubans having opportunity to use it and connect to it. When the government created cyber-salons in 2013, one hour surfing the web costs was $4.50, where a monthly salary was only $20. In March 2015, the Cuba’s state-run telecommunication agency Etecsa allowed a public Wi-Fi hub during an exhibition by artist Kcho.

In the article Cuban’s excited by Obama’s visit to island, The Washington Post says, “Obama’s decision to visit Havana, has been sharply criticized by opponents of the normalization, especially with the Republican party.” No matter, some of the business already started with their investments in the island with Starwood Hotels and Resorts making management deals in Cuba with approve of the U.S. Treasury Department.

Key moments in restoring relations with Cuba

July 1, 2015 Cuba and the United States announced they would officially open embassies; The Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C., opened in July. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presided over a ceremony marking the re-opening of the U.S. embassy in Havana in August. The U.S. flag was raised at the embassy for the first time in over fifty-four years; three U.S. Marines who took down the flag in 1961 were present to take part in the re-raising ceremony.

On 19 September 2015, Cuba welcomed Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Leaders of dissident groups reported their members had been rounded up and detained, and prevented from approaching the pope during his four-day visit. Pope Francis left Cuba on 22 September for a visit to the United States.


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