For the first time in nearly 90 years, a sitting U.S. president will visit the communist nation of Cuba on Sunday after a new deal marking improved Cuba-U.S. relations.
President Barack Obama arrived in Havana on Sunday evening and will deliver his first speech to the island nation.
During his two-day visit, the president will join President Raul Castro for a state dinner and will discuss trade and political reform. As part of a busy schedule, Obama will watch a baseball game between the Cuba’s national team and the Tampa Bay Rays.
WATCH: @POTUS, First Family depart Joint Base Andrews. Next stop: Cuba. –@alex_mallin https://t.co/y1TqLu0g16https://t.co/jpdRwsvqxS
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 20, 2016
WH list of members of Congress traveling with POTUS to Cuba (biggest I can recall with Obama) pic.twitter.com/LwHvCIIs9m
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) March 20, 2016
President Obama’s visit to Cuba is not welcomed by all, as many anti-Castro groups are planning protests at the scheduled meetings. On Sunday, there were reports of dozens arrested just hours before Obama’s arrival.
In recent years, the Obama administration has been working with the Cuban government to re-establish diplomatic and trade ties that were severed in 1961. The U.S. then led an embargo against the state in a bid to topple Fidel Castro’s regime.
In late 2014, President Obama announced the start of a gradual thawing of relationship with Cuba. U.S. citizens are now allowed to travel to the island in certain circumstances and the Obama administration has called upon Congress to end the decades-old embargo.
Full diplomatic ties between the two nations were restored on July 20, 2015.
The last U.S. President to visit Cuba was Calvin Coolidge in 1928, who arrived on a battleship.
#UPDATE Obama departs US for historic Cuba visit: AFPhttps://t.co/WHIRqx03UU pic.twitter.com/wTkibvmjEV
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 20, 2016
Who's Aboard Air Force One to Cuba? https://t.co/efssThRyu7 pic.twitter.com/qHlCH5slJZ
— The Voice of America (@VOANews) March 20, 2016