Lonely Planet Writer

US President makes 'historic' visit to Cuba: image gallery and video

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters are on a historic three-day visit to Cuba.

President Barack Obama waves from Air Force One as he arrives accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha, right, and Malia at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, March 20
President Barack Obama waves from Air Force One as he arrives accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha, right, and Malia at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, March 20 Image by AP Photo/Fernando Medina

The visit marks a historic moment in American-Cuban relations, as Obama’s visit is the first time a US president has visited Cuba in 88 years, the first time since President Calvin Coolidge visited in 1928.

Barack Obama waves at journalists on arrival in Cuba
Barack Obama waves at journalists on arrival in Cuba Image by AP Photo/Fernando Medina

During his speech at the newly re-opened American embassy to Cuba, Obama said it was “wonderful to be here.”

The Obamas visit old town Havana in the rain
The Obamas visit old town Havana in the rain Image by AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

“Back in 1928, President [Calvin] Coolidge came on a battleship. It took him three days to get here – it only took me three hours. For the first time ever, Air Force One has landed in Cuba and this is our very first stop,” Obama said during his press conference.

Crowds try to get a glimpse of President Obama and his family
Crowds try to get a glimpse of President Obama and his family Image by AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
Crowds gather to cheer the Obamas on
Crowds gather to cheer the Obamas on Image by AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

The Obamas later visited Havana’s old town, where tropical rainfall made the visit look particularly atmospheric and beautiful.

Michelle and Barack greet the children of the newly opened US embassy employees
Michelle and Barack greet the children of the newly opened US embassy employees Image by AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Many Cubans were keen to catch a glimpse of the president.