Obama first US President in 80 years to visit Cuba
This comes as the two Cold War-era foes are making efforts to normalise their ties, with the U.S. having lifted the sanctions on Cuba.
U.S. President Barack Obama is likely to make a historic visit to Cuba next month â€” the first sitting American president to go to the island nation in 80 years â€” as the two Cold War-era foes make efforts to normalise their ties, a media report has said.
The news was first reported by ABC News which said that the announcement could be made on Thursday.
â€œThe trip is planned for March 21-22 before the president flies to Argentina,â€ the news channel reported on Wednesday.
Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, who is of Cuban descent, slammed Obama for his planned trip to Cuba.
Rubio said if he was the president, he would not visit the island nation unless it were a â€œfree Cubaâ€.
The Cuban government is â€œan anti-American communist dictatorship. They are a repressive regime,â€ he said.
While the White House did not immediately comment on the potential trip, the visit comes roughly 15 months after his pledge with Cuban leader Raul Castro to reopen diplomatic channels following a prisoner exchange and the humanitarian release of U.S. contractor Alan Gross in December 2014.
Thereafter the two countries have moved ahead to restore diplomatic ties after decades and the U.S. lifted sanctions on Cuba. The two countries have also decided to resume direct flights.
Calvin Coolidge was the last U.S. president to visit Cuba in 1928. He went there to address the Sixth Annual International Conference of American States in Havana.
Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter visited Cuba twice in 2002 and 2011, but it was two decades after he left the office.