As part of his opening to Cuba, President Barack Obama is expected to visit the island in March, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to travel there in almost 90 years, sources said Wednesday.
The president is expected to arrive March 21, sources said. That timetable would put him in Cuba during a week when Havana is awash in special events. On the 20th, the Rolling Stones are expected to conclude their Latin America tour with a concert in Cuba and on March 22, Cuba’s national baseball team will play the Tampa Bay Rays in Havana. It’s unclear whether the president will attend the baseball game.
ABC News reported Wednesday that the National Security Council will make the official announcement at a White House briefing Thursday. The network also reported that Obama will stop in Cuba on his way to Argentina.
Obama’s critics were quick to condemn the visit.
“If true, it is absolutely shameful that Obama is rewarding the Castros with a visit to Cuba by a sitting American president since their reign of terror began,” said U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami. “A visit by President Obama more than one year after his unilateral concessions to the regime will only legitimize the Castros’ repressive behavior.”