Obama en route to Cuba on trip to further advance rebuilding of ties

Havana/Washington, Jumada II 11, 1437, March 20, 2016, SPA — US President Barack Obama departed Washington Sunday for a three-day visit to Cuba, a historic trip culminating a process of a rapprochement that began more than a year ago, according to dpa.

Obama and his family boarded Air Force One around 1:30 pm (1730 GMT) at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington and the plane took off in a light drizzle.

Obama’s stay will last through Tuesday, and will include a meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro, but not with his older brother, Fidel, the 89-year-old revolutionary, who ruled the communist island for decades after the revolution and consistently express hostility toward the US, which implemented an embargo against Cuba in 1961.

Raul Castro has called for the complete lifting of a trade embargo and a return of Guantanamo Bay, a US military base on the eastern tip of Cuba under US control since 1903.

22:33 LOCAL TIME 19:33 GMT