Barrack Obama, on Sunday finally arrived to a small but cheering crowd at the beginning of his historic visit to Cuba, opening a new chapter in United States engagement with island’s Communist govt. after the decades of hostility between former Cold War foes.
This 3-day trip, the 1st trip by United States president in 88 years, is the result of a political opening that is declared by President Obama & Raul Castro, the Cuban President in Dec, last year, ending a hostility that had started when in 1959 Cuban revolution ousted a pro-American govt.
“It is a historic opportunity to engage directly with the people of Cuba,” told Obama to the staff at the newly reopened United States Embassy who were assembled at a hotel.
The Groups of Cubans watched motorcade from balconies & the backyards as President Barrack Obama was driven to a downtown, where the small crowd of Cubans braved a tight security. “Viva Obama, Viva Fidel,” they chanted as President Obama along with his family had left after eating the dinner in a rundown neighborhood.
Barrack Obama, abandoning a longtime policy of United Stated of trying to isolate the Cuba, now wants to make his policy shift permanent even if a Republican wins White House in the election of Nov. 8.
On Sunday, 1 bystander shouted: “Down with the blockade,” in reference to United States embargo in place for last 54 years that remains the top aggravation for the Cubans. President Obama, responding by raising his right hand, asked the Congress to withdraw the embargo but was blocked by the Republican leadership.
Highlighting the ideological divide that continues between Havana & Washington, the Cuban police broke up their regular march of a leading a dissident group, the Ladies in White, and detained around 50 people hours before the arrival of President Barrack Obama.
Obama met Bruno Rodriguez, the Cuban Foreign Minister, who is the top Cuban official present.
On Tuesday, Obama will hold the talks with Castro and speak to entrepreneurs on Monday. Barrack Obama meets privately with dissidents, addressing Cubans to live on state-run media & will attend an exhibition baseball game.
Obama’s 3-day trip carries both the symbolism & substance after the decades of resentment between Havana & Washington.