U.S. President Barack Obama started a meeting Monday morning with Raul Castro President of Cuba by urging the island’s Communist government to grab the historic opportunity to create more complete ties between both nations by expanding economic and human rights access.
The Monday meeting in the capital city of Cuba will not resolve the major difference the two nations have. The two have been antagonists to each other for over 60 years.
It will not result immediately in any breakthroughs economically for the group of corporate executives from the United States. who accompanied Obama along with some Democrats that Obama will meet with when he meets Castro.
However, it serves as the punctuation for an argument by Obama that policy by the U.S. toward Cuba the past 50 years has been a failure and only engagement by the U.S. with the country and its leaders could change the trajectory.
Having the U.S. Embassy back in Cuba means the U.S. can advance its values, interest and understand in a more effective manner the people’s concerns of Cuba, said Obama to his U.S. embassy staff.
Obama added to them that his visit was historic and a great opportunity.
The events on Monday show the United States and the international community the complete pageantry of his state visit. President Obama laid a wreath Monday at the Jose Marti memorial in Havana. Marti was a Cuban revolutionary in the 19th century. Obama then attended a formal welcoming ceremony where he met Castro inside the country’s Palace of the Revolution.
On Monday night, a state dinner for the U.S. President and Michelle the U.S.first lady will be hosted by Castro.
This is the first time in over 88 years a sitting U.S. president has stepped on Cuban soil.
Over his visit of two days, the president will be talking with entrepreneurs as well as dissidents. He will offer to the Cuban population a glimpse of what better relationships could mean to them.
Obama is planning as well to attend a baseball game the national team of Cuba will play against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Lawmakers from each party have joined Obama on the trip, as have corporate executives who are eyeing new ties commercially with Cuba.