WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday, the White House announced Obama was scheduled to visit Cuba on March 21-22 in a first official by a US president visit since 1928.
"I think President Obama’s announcement that he is going to visit Cuba is a big deal that will put an enormous spotlight on Cuba, and a lot of people will have a great deal of interest, governors and mayors throughout the country," Dinegar said.
On Wednesday, the US media reported that Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser will also travel to Cuba during the weekend to explore trade and commercial travel opportunities there for entities and individuals from the US capital.
Dinegar noted that Bowser took an aggressive approach to develop relationships early.
"I think it’s to her advantage, to region’s advantage to be down there before the President," he added.
In December 2014, Obama announced the United States would normalize relations with Cuba. The two countries reopened embassies in their respective capitals in July 2015 after more than 50 years of hostilities and non-engagement.
Despite the rapprochement between the two countries and increased trade and travel opportunities, the United States continues to maintain a congressionally-mandated trade embargo on Cuba.