President Obama to Visit Cuba in March
Present Obama shared a series of Tweets leading up to his big announcement, discussing the progress made and work left to do between the two countries. First Lady, Michelle Obama, will accompany the president to Cuba. Relations between the United States and Cuba were severed in 1961 during the Cold War. At the height of the war of words, the two countries often found themselves in conflict, with crises such as the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Even after the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States kept enforcing their embargo on Cuba.
Next month, I'll travel to Cuba to advance our progress and efforts that can improve the lives of the Cuban people.— President Obama (@POTUS) February 18, 2016
It wasn’t until December 2014 that President Obama announced reopening ties with Cuba, which is seen as a step to normalizing relations between the two countries. On July 20, 2015, embassies reopened in their respective capitals for the first time since 1961. Republican presidential candidates were quick to demonize the president’s trip to Cuba. At the CNN Town Hall in South Carolina, Cuban-American candidate Marco Rubio (R-FL) said he would not visit the nation until Cuba is totally free, calling it “an anti-American communist dictatorship” and a “repressive regime.” Texas Senator Ted Cruz added, “I think it’s a real mistake. I think the president ought to be pushing for a free Cuba.” Only time will tell if either Rubio or Cruz get their wish.
14 months ago, I announced that we would begin normalizing relations with Cuba – and we've already made significant progress.— President Obama (@POTUS) February 18, 2016