HAVANA TIMES — Will Barack Obama return to Cuba for the funeral of Fidel Castro? At this point who will represent the US at the official sendoff for the Cuban leader has yet to be announced.
Obama has less than two months to go in his administration and president-elect Trump appears less than supportive of the current administration’s overtures with the island.
Barack Obama and Raul Castro shook hands for the first time at the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa back in December 2013. The gesture sparked considerable speculation and expectations about the relationship between the two historical antagonists.
A year later when Obama and Raul Castro announced a resumption of diplomatic relations we learned that for well over a year behind the scenes talks had been taking place between the emissaries of the two governments with assistance from the Canadian government and the Vatican.
The subsequent thaw in relations, the opening of embassies, the weakening of some aspects of the US embargo on Cuba (still in force), a sharp increase in visitors from the US, and then the Obama trip to Cuba in March 2016 followed.
In subsequent days, the motive behind the Obama visit to Havana was sharply criticized by Fidel Castro who saw it as only a new strategy to dominate Cuba and destroy its revolution.