Former US President Jimmy Carter is in Cuba for a three-day visit. He has made it clear that the trip, his first in nine years, is a private event. He adds that the primary purpose is to gain a better understanding of the nation’s new economic policies, as well as the forthcoming sixth Cuban Communist Party Congress. Many local residents also have high hopes the journey will improve bilateral ties.
Nine years have passed since former US President Jimmy Carter made a groundbreaking visit to Cuba. He’s there again for a three-day visit to discuss troubled relations and the imprisonment of a US aid worker.
Carter visited the headquarters of Cuba’s Jewish community on Monday, and is expected to hold talks with Cuban leader Raul Castro later on Tuesday. Up for discussion will be the possible release of Alan Gross. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for providing illegal Internet access to Cuban dissidents under a controversial US program.
The case has strained US-Cuba relations after a modest warming under President Barack Obama. Speaking after his visit to the community center, local Jewish leader Adela Dworin thought ties would improve.
Adela Dworin said, “I think Carter is an impressive, wonderful person, and I hope that one day relations between our two countries will improve, because we are certainly each other’s closest neighbors.”
This is Carter’s second trip to Cuba.
His previous visit was in 2002. Yet, he still remains the only US President, sitting or former, to go to the island since the Cuban revolution.