White House Won’t Rule Out Obama Visit to Cuba as Policy Shifts

U.S. President Barack Obama leaves after speaking to the nation about normalizing diplomatic relations the Cuba in the Cabinet Room of the White House on December 17, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Barack Obama said that a high-level U.S. delegation will be heading to Cuba soon and his spokesman today said that a presidential visit to the island nation is a possibility in the future.

“I certainly wouldn’t rule out a presidential visit, but I have nothing to announce at this point,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

Obama earlier today said that the U.S. would re-establish an embassy in Havana and said American officials would travel there to “advance shared interests” in areas like migration, counterterrorism, drug trafficking and disaster response. The U.S. also is expanding licenses for Americans to travel to Cuba.

Earnest said it wasn’t unusual for the president to travel to countries with which the U.S. has fundamental differences. He cited Obama’s recent trip to China and Myanmar.

Asked if Obama would be among the Americans heading that way, Earnest said that if there were an opportunity for the president to visit, “I’m sure he wouldn’t turn it down.”

“They have a beautiful climate and a lot of fun things to do,” he said.

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