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On top of a hotel in downtown Havana July 2015

 

 

 

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The Capitol in downtown Havana. I took this in July 2015 while visiting with Cuban friends. 

 

Yesterday, President Obama and the first family arrived in Cuba. It’s the first time in 88 years that a U.S. President has visited Cuba and that president was Calvin Coolidge in 1928! It took President Coolidge 3 days by battleship to get to Havana but only took President Obama 3 hours to arrive on Air Force One. Upon arrival the First Lady, her daughters & her mother were given beautiful bunches of flowers.

His first Tweet was, “President Obama@POTUS 19h19 hours ago

¿Que bolá Cuba? Just touched down here, looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people.”  ¿Que bolá Cuba? means “What’s up, Cuba?

 I visited Cuba this last summer with dear Cuban friends for 2 weeks and found all of the people I met to be so friendly, happy, caring & giving. I’m sure that Obama & his family will find the same. And I am sure that their visit will be quite different from mine, even though some of the same sites will be seen.

Cubans crowded the streets of Havana on Sunday to try to catch a glimpse of President Obama and his family. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

 

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This morning there was an official welcoming reception by President Raúl Castro at the Museo de la Revolucion (the former palace of Fulgenico Batista), where the military band played The Star Spangled Banner. Before he met with President Castro, Obama laid a wreath at the memorial to José Martí, a journalist and poet whose ideals are loved in both Miami and Havana. There are José Martí statues, banners & plaques everywhere in Cuba. Several times a week there were documentaries about him on the Cuban television.

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After some sightseeing & various meetings including with American & Cuban business leaders, the President & family will return to the Museo de la Revolucion for a formal dinner. Tomorrow President Obama will be giving a speech on live Cuban television and attending a baseball game between the Cuba National Team and the TAMPA BAY RAYS from St Petersburg, Florida!! I wonder if Raymond, the official mascot for the Rays will be there. ¿Que bolá Raymond?  #RaysinCuba

Rays, Tropicana Field, St Petersburg, Florida

No matter what your political views are or where you stand on the Cuban-American relationship, this is an historical event.

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