HAVANA — The wheels of Air Force One touched down at Jose Marti International Airport for the first time ever at 4:19 p.m. Sunday, kicking off a history-making presidential visit and breaking decades of tense relations with communist Cuba.
It’s the same single-runway airport the CIA once bombed in the 1960s, and whose broken-down Russian-built airplanes and colorful, antiquated terminals give testimony to the impact of 50 years of U.S. sanctions and diplomatic isolation.
But as he descended the stairway under an umbrella, President Obama was greeted warmly on the tarmac by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, who presented First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters with flowers. A small crowd gathered on the reviewing stand, but their cheers were subdued by the 84-degree drizzle.
Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Sunday that 974 reporters from 202 news outlets from 50 countries were in Havana to cover Obama’s trip…
READ MORE CUBA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Cuba Files