Six in 10 Americans think restoring diplomacy with Cuba is mostly good for the U.S., but views are mixed on whether it will lead to more democracy in Cuba. [CBS/NYT Poll]
POTUS LANDED in Cuba today, bringing with him an “economic delegation,” according to reporting by NBC News and Andrea Mitchell. There are nothing sure about this outreach, which makes the historic nature of this state visit even more dynamic.
Mitchell went on to say that her iPhone worked when she arrived, with Verizon ahead of AT&T on connectivity.
Human rights will also be on President Obama‘s agenda with Raúl Castro. POTUS will also push hard for a press conference, something that Castro just doesn’t do.
From Ben Rhodes, national security advisor to President Obama
¡Hola desde cuba! Today, Air Force One touched down here in Havana for the first time in history. There’s no question this is a remarkable moment for the relationship between the United States and Cuba, our governments, and our people. It’s also a landmark in the progress we’ve made since President Obama decided to reform the failed, Cold-War era policies of the past and chart a new course that would actually advance American interests and values and help the Cuban people improve their lives.
UPDATE: The remarks from Presidents Obama and Castro were historic well beyond the decades in between an American presidential and delegation visit, 40 from Congress joining. The photo below came at the end of the exchange when Andrea Mitchell pressed both leaders on human rights, with Obama saying that Mitchell was one of America’s “esteemed journalists” who would appreciate it if he’d answer her questions. It was a stunning because President Castro had said he’d answer no questions, then one question, with Obama getting two though going well beyond that number. Historic in every way. I’ve been for normalization of relations, including ending the embargo, for years; going to events several years ago where the diplomatic community made their case for these advances. It’s an exciting day.
— Jason Rogers (@JasonARogers) March 21, 2016