President Raul Castro said goodbye to his US counterpart Barack Obama, who concluded an official visit to the island described as an historic event: Obama became the first US President to visit Cuba in 88 years.
At Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, from where Obama will fly to Argentina, both Presidents shook hands again, reaffirming the willingness to continue the process towards normalization of relations between both countries, a process that started on December 2014.
Barack Obama arrived on Sunday with his family and an entourage including 40 members of Congress. As part of his official program on the island, US President paid tribute to Cuba’s National Hero, José Martí, at the memorial devoted to him in the Revolution Square, and held official talks with Cuban President Raul Castro.
At the meeting, which took place on Monday, both Presidents talked about areas of mutual interest in which both nations can make progress despite the differences.
At the end of the meeting, Raul Castro and Barack Obama made statements to the national and foreign press, in which the Cuban leader expressed the shared will to make advances in the art of civilized coexistence, to promote links for the benefit of their countries and peoples.
In that regard, he urged to ‘focus on what brings us together and not on what divides us’, and highlighted the steps taken in the process of restoring normal relations.
Meanwhile, Obama recognized the ‘extraordinary’ achievements of Cuba in sectors such as health and education, while reaffirmed about some steps taken by his administration to strengthen the ties with the island, although still remains the economic, commercial and financial blockade that Washington has imposed on Havana for over half a century.
After his meeting with Raul Castro, Barack Obama participated in a business encounter with businessmen and entrepreneurs of both countries, during which he highlighted that the Cuban economy is changing.
The last day of the visit of Obama in Cuba was marked by a speech to a group of representatives of the Cuban civil society in the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso.
Barack Obama also attended along with his Cuban counterpart a friendly baseball game between Cuba’s national team and the Tampa Bay Rays.
In the speech delivered by US President, he shared his vision of the new scenarios that open in the relation of both countries, and said that American and Cuban people have shared values, besides being united by historical and cultural ties.