US President Barack Obama has arrived in Cuba for a historic three-day visit, the first by a serving US president to the communist country in 88 years.
- Barack Obama arrives in Cuba for three-day visit
- President expected to hold several meetings, attend baseball
- US-Cuba relations improving, but trade embargo likely to remain
Mr Obama flew into the Cuban capital Havana aboard Air Force One, accompanied by his family and a US business delegation, marking a stark difference from his predecessor Calvin Coolidge, who arrived on board an aircraft carrier in 1928.
The trip is the most visible demonstration of the President’s foreign policy principle of engaging with Cuba since his December 2014 announcement that the US would end a half-century long diplomatic freeze with its former Cold War foe.
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Today, Mr Obama and the First Lady will take a walk around Old Havana, playing tourist in a country just 150 kilometres off the Florida coast which has long been closed to ordinary Americans.
The visit will also include a state dinner at the Palace of the Revolution and a bilateral meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro, although the US leader has stopped short of meeting the Cuban leader’s revolutionary brother, Fidel.
Mr Obama is expected to use a speech on Tuesday to directly address the Cuban people on issues including the promotion of democracy and human rights.
On the sidelines, Mr Obama is expected to meet privately with anti-Castro dissidents.
The Obama family will also find time to take in a game of baseball between the Cuban National Team and the Tampa Bay Rays.