Obama to become first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba in 88 years

Obama to become first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba in 88 years

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U.S. President Barack Obama will arrive in
Cuba on Sunday… for a historic visit — the first visit to the island nation by a sitting
U.S. president in nearly 90 years. During his three-day stay, Obama is expected
to meet with his counterpart Raul Castro and Cuban citizens from all walks of life.
Shin Se-min reports. It’s a new era in the U.S. history of thorny
relations with Cuba,…as President Barack Obama made his way to the island nation on
Sunday. It’s the first visit by a sitting U.S. president
in 88 years,… signaling a shift in the country’s diplomatic approach from isolation to engagement.
During the three-day visit,… President Obama will be meeting with his Cuban counterpart
Raul Castro, and the two are expected to discuss the next steps for the two countries in dealing
with a set of complex issues, including Cuba’s political and economic reforms.
The White House said President Obama will also raise the issues of political prisoners
and human rights. The U.S. president will give a speech to the
Cuban people on Tuesday. He will also meet with dissidents and attend
an exhibition baseball game pitting the Tampa Bay Rays against the Cuban national team.
But the itinerary does not include a meeting with the 89-year-old Communist revolutionary
Fidel Castro. The historic visit comes 15 months after the
U.S. and Cuba announced a normalization of ties between the two countries, after more
than 50 years. Ahead of the trip, Obama had announced the
U.S. would ease travel restrictions for U.S. citizens and restore Cuba’s access to the
international financial system. Furthermore, the U.S. airlines are expected
to launch direct flights to the island later this year,… with up to 110 flights per day.
The U.S. president’s trip to the island nation, located just 140-kilometers off the southern
tip of Florida, has been welcomed by world leaders… and is raising expectations about
the implications the visit will have on future generations.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.

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