President Obama discussed his upcoming March trip to Cuba in this week's address. The visit intends to further advance the progress made in U.S. – Cuba relations, since his announcement to restore relations more than a year ago. This will be the first visit of a U.S. President to Cuba in nearly 90 years.
President Obama stated the best way to promote American interests and values, and help improve the lives of the Cuban people, is through engagement.
"I believe that the best way to advance American interests and values, and the best way to help the Cuban people improve their lives, is through engagement—by normalizing relations between our governments and increasing the contacts between our peoples. I’ve always said that change won’t come to Cuba overnight. But as Cuba opens up, it will mean more opportunity and resources for ordinary Cubans. And we’re starting to see some progress."
The President will also meet with members of civil society and Cuban entrepreneurs, and speak directly to the Cuban people about shared beliefs and their continued support.
"I’ll meet with members of Cuba’s civil society—courageous men and women who give voice to the aspirations of the Cuban people. I’ll meet with Cuban entrepreneurs to learn how we can help them start new ventures. And I’ll speak directly to the Cuban people about the values we share and how I believe we can be partners as they work for the future they want."
President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro are scheduled to meet during the trip.
"I’ll 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."
The President noted that his visit to Cuba will advance the goals that guide us: promoting American interests and values, and assisting efforts to build a future of more freedom and more opportunity for the Cuban people.