Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Timeline of Obama’s historic visit to Cuba

Sunday, March 20, 4.20pm: Barack Obama becomes the first President for almost 90 years to set foot in Cuba, bringing along the entire first family, including Michelle's mother Marian Robinson. He is greeted by a host of dignitaries at Jose Martin International Airport with one notable exception, Raul Castro.

5.50pm: Obama speaks to a few dozen staffers from the newly reopened US embassy at a Havana hotel. He says his trip is an 'historic opportunity to engage with the Cuban people'.

6.55pm: The Obamas embark on a tour of Old Havana amid a heavy downpour, all clutching black umbrellas. A few hundred people who gathered in the square erupted in applause, with the president spending a few minutes greeting onlookers before entering Havana Cathedral to see Cardinal Jaime Ortega. 

Monday, March 21, 10.30am: Obama visits the José Marti memorial, honoring the hero in the Cuban revolt against Spain, laying a wreath at his memorial, a 358 foot tower,in Havana's Plaza de la Revolución. Behind the President were striking steel sculptures of Cuban Revolutionary heroes Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and Camil Cienfuegos.

10.45am: Obama and Raul Castro shake hands and smile for the cameras as they greet each other at the Revolutionary Palace, the first meeting between the pair in the country.

1pm: Google announces the opening of a cutting-edge technology center at the studio of Alexis Leiva Machado, a sculptor known as Kcho, offering free internet at speeds 70 times faster than currently available to the Cuban public.

2.10pm: Castro calls on Obama to life more restrictions on Cuba and urged the return of land used for Guantanamo Bay. Obama later says the pair had a 'frank and candid conversation' on human rights and democracy after the pair had a private meeting.

7.25pm:  The president and first lady will participate in a State dinner hosted by the Cuban government at the Palace of the Revolution.

Tuesday, March 2210.10am: Obama will address the Cuban people at El Gran Teatro de Havana in the morning and then meet with dissidents and civil society leaders.

11.20am: Obama meets with members of Cuban Civil Societies at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

2pm: The whole family will attend an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Cuban National Team at their stadium before leaving for Argentina on Tuesday afternoon.

3.50pm: The First Family departs Cuba from the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, heading for Argentina. 

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