Washington – President Barack Obama announced a two-day visit to Cuba on March 21, during his weekly address on Saturday. He talked about what the engagement between the two nations could bring to the Cubans. This will be the first visit of a U.S President to the island in nearly 90 years.

Obama has said that the confirmation of his visit comes with the decision he made more than a year ago, the beginning of a new chapter in the U.S relations with the people of Cuba.

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A meeting with President Raúl Castro will be held during Obama’s visit, to discuss the progress they have made in the ongoing process of normalizing relations. Obama plans to reaffirm the U.S support of universal values like freedom of speech, assembly, and religion, according to The White House.

“I will meet with President Castro to discuss how we can continue normalizing relations, including making it easier to trade and easier for Cubans to access the Internet and start their own businesses,” Obama said.

The President will also meet with members of the Cuba’s civil society and entrepreneurs to figure out how the U.S can help them start their new business. The Cuban people will not be left out of the conversation, as Obama will speak with them about common values and how he believes they can all work together for the future they want.

“We are still in the early days of our new relationship with the Cuban people,” added Obama in his speech. He said it will take time, but he focuses on the future, as he is confident that his visit will advance the U.S goal, promote its interests and values and a better future for Cuba, a future with more freedom and opportunity.

A criticized visit by many

Last week, at least, two Republican presidential candidates have criticized Obama for his decision to visit the Caribbean island. Both of them have strong ties to Cuba, as reported by Voice of America.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has addressed human’s rights violations and the lack of Cuba’s improvement in its record. The Senator, whose fathers migrated from Cuba in the 1950s, said that the Cuban government remains as oppressive as ever.

Ted Cruz’ father also fled Cuba decades ago. Texas Senator addressed Obama’s visit as a real mistake. He added that he would not visit the communist state.

Source: Weekly Address