Barack Obama is reportedly planning to visit Cuba some time next month. If he does go, it would be the first time in nearly 90 years that a sitting US president will visit the country. The official announcement of the trip, planned for March 21-22 before Obama flies to Argentina, is expected on Thursday, reported ABC News.
The move comes nearly 15 months after Obama met his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro and pledged to reopen diplomatic channels following a prisoner exchange. The two countries have since held a series of diplomatic talks, reopened embassies and restored commercial air traffic. The Obama administration is eager to make rapid progress on building trade and diplomatic ties with Cuba before the 54-year-old leaves office, reported AP.
The last and only sitting US president to visit Cuba, which lies only 90 miles south of Florida, was Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Coolidge had gone to give a speech to the sixth International Conference of American States. Jimmy Carter traveled to Cuba in 2002 at the invitation of Castro, but it was 20 years after he had left office. Harry Truman visited the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in 1948, but since it is controlled by the US, it was not considered a state visit.