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Obama Meets Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega on First Day of Visit to Cuba

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US President Barack Obama has met with Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega on the first day of the historic visit to the island nation.

HAVANA (Sputnik) – The meeting was announced earlier by US Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

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"They [the Obama family] will be hosted by Cardinal Ortega in Cuba. The Cardinal, along with Pope Francis, was particularly helpful in supporting the agreement on December 17th to normalize relations," Rhodes said. "That will also provide the opportunity to mark the important role of the Catholic Church in the lives of the Cuban people, and in the increasing relations between our two countries."

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Obama Arrives to Cuba With First US Presidential Visit Since 1928
While Obama’s official program begins on Monday, and will include the meeting with the Cuban President Raul Castro, on Sunday the US President took an opportunity to talk to the US embassy staff in Cuba and had a tour of Old Havana.

Obama arrived in the Cuban capital with the historic visit on Sunday in the wake of the Cuban normalization process.

Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge sailed into Havana aboard a US battleship in 1928.

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