US President Obama Meets Cuban Counterpart Raul Castro in Havana

US President Obama Meets Cuban Counterpart Raul Castro in Havana
Mon Mar 21, 2016 23:00:08

US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro met Monday as part of Obama's historic visit to Havana marking the improving relations between the two nations.

Obama, the first sitting US president to visit Cuba since former president Calvin Coolidge nearly 90 years ago, held a meeting with Castro at Havana's Palace of the Revolution to discuss future relations.

Obama arrived in Cuba on Sunday for a two-day visit. He was joined by his wife, two daughters and mother-in-law, as well as a group of cabinet members, US lawmakers and American business leaders. 

Obama’s meeting with Castro was the third time the pair had met for bilateral talks since the resumption of diplomatic relations in 2014.

They first shook hands last April at a summit meeting in Panama before meeting again on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September.

The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 and placed an official embargo against the country in 1962.

The two countries became ideological foes soon after the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power and their ties remained hostile even after the end of the Cold War.

The two countries held 18 months of secret talks that led to a joint announcement on December 17 that the two long-time adversaries would restore diplomatic relations and release prisoners on both sides.

S/SH 11

string(540) "[{"id":"1800976","sort":"3516405","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/21/alalam_635941935826728408_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Majority of Americans Support Restoring Cuba Ties: Poll"} ,{"id":"1800794","sort":"3516406","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/21/alalam_635941528262143465_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"PHOTOS: US President Obama Arrives in Cuba for Historic Visit"} ,{"id":"1800704","sort":"3516407","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/20/alalam_635941057256627000_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"URGENT: Obama Departs US for Historic Cuba Visit"} ]"