President Barack Obama is set to have a historic visit to Cuba next month, according to U.S. and diplomatic sources.
The White House has not yet made the announcement official, but a senior administration official was quoted as saying: “We can confirm that (Thursday) the administration will announce the President’s travel to Latin America, including Cuba, in the coming weeks.”
This trip follows the historic reopening of ties between the two nations, as agreed by president Obama and Cuban president Raul Castro, in late 2014. It has been around 15 months after the two leaders pledged to reopen diplomatic channels.
Obama will be the first president to step foot on the island in more than 80 years.
Some U.S. officials are against the planned visit. Texas senator Ted Cruz, whose father fled to the U.S. from Cuba in the 1950s, said that the visit is a “real mistake.”
“I think the President ought to be pushing for a free Cuba … My family has seen firsthand the evil and the oppression in Cuba. We need a president who stands up to our enemies.”
Presidential candidate Marco Rubio also disagrees with the announcement, saying that if he were president, he will not visit Cuba unless it’s a free country.
Rubio, a Cuban-American, said that Cuba’s government is “an anti-American communist dictatorship” and “repressive.”
The White House is expected to make the official announcement on Thursday.