President Obama Will Visit Cuba in Historic Trip Next Month, Sources Say
By JIM AVILA SERENA MARSHALL Feb 17, 2016, 8:13 PM ET
President Obama is planning a trip to Cuba some time next month, marking the first time in more than 80 years a sitting U.S. president will visit the country, according to sources with knowledge of the plan.
A National Security Council official plans to make the announcement tomorrow at the White House briefing.
The trip is planned for March 21-22 before the president flies to Argentina.
The move comes roughly 15 months following the president’s pledge with Raul Castro to reopen diplomatic channels following a prisoner exchange and the humanitarian release of U.S. contractor Alan Gross in December 2014.
Since the announcement, the two countries have had a series of diplomatic talks, leading to the reopening of embassies last summer and the recent deal restoring commercial air traffic.
The last and only sitting U.S. president to visit the island nation only 90 miles south of the Florida keys was Calvin Coolidge, in 1928, to address the Sixth Annual International Conference of American States in Havana.
He met with Cuba’s President Gerardo Machado, who was in office from 1925 to 1933, until he was forced into exile.
President Jimmy Carter traveled to Cuba in 2002, 20 years after leaving office, at the invitation of President Fidel Castro.
Carter also made a trip in 2011.
This is a developing story….