Traveling with the First Lady Michelle Obama, her mother, and their daughters Sasha and Malia, President Barack Obama landed at Jose Marti international airport in the country’s Presidential Jet Air Force One on Sunday amidst mixed feelings.
The 44th American President will be the first sitting president to visit Cuba, her former cold war foe since 1928 when Calvin Coolidge arrived in a battleship.
This trip is coming 15 months after he announced diplomatic ties between the US and Cuba, and one week after the first direct mail delivery to the country.
Obama will hold talks with Castro – but not his brother Fidel, the revolutionary leader – and speak to entrepreneurs on Monday. He meets privately with dissidents, addresses Cubans live on state-run media and attends an exhibition baseball game on Tuesday.
Obama’s first words to the Cuban people came via twitter; his words were “Que bola Cuba? (Cuban slang for “What’s up?”), Just touched down here, looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people.”
Lawmakers have attacked the president for the normalization of relations between the two countries and for setting out to a state travel to Cuba that is still under the leadership of the Castro family.
The trip comes amidst trade embargo between both countries, one which American lawmakers have resisted the call to lift.
See more photos from his arrival below.
Photo Credit: Getty Images News