US President Barack Obama will be visiting Cuba in March, he announced over Twitter on Thursday morning.
The visit was first reported by sources on Wednesday, and then confirmed in a Medium post by Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes.
“14 months ago, I announced that we would begin normalizing relations with Cuba – and we’ve already made significant progress,” Obama wrote on Twitter. “Our flag flies over our Embassy in Havana once again. More Americans are traveling to Cuba than at any time in the last 50 years..”
Obama will be making his first visit to the island — and the first visit by a sitting US President since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. (Former US President Jimmy Carter visited Cuba in 2011).
“We still have differences with the Cuban government that I will raise directly. America will always stand for human rights around the world,” he tweeted. “Next month, I’ll travel to Cuba to advance our progress and efforts that can improve the lives of the Cuban people.”
Rhodes, too, stressed that the US still had significant differences with Cuba’s government, “particularly on human rights.”
“While we do not seek to impose change on Cuba, we strongly believe that Cuba will benefit when the Cuban people can exercise their universal rights. President Obama has raised these issues in his discussions with President Castro, and will continue to do so,” Rhodes wrote.
The Cuba Journal believes Obama may be attending a baseball game while in Cuba.