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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Secretary of State John Kerry is going to Cuba after all, and President Barack Obama’s trip is still on.
The United States Department of State made that clear Friday afternoon talking about a conversation Kerry had with the Cuban foreign minister.
“The secretary told the foreign minister that the president is very much looking forward to the trip and to meeting with the wide array of Cuban officials and citizens to include members of civil society,” said Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Department Spokesperson John Kirby.
Reports surfaced Thursday that there was a dust up between U.S. and Cuban diplomats concerning what dissidents, if any, the president and secretary of state were going to talk too.
Kerry cancelled a pre-presidential visit and speculation began about the president’s trip itself.
President Obama has hung his hat on addressing the human rights issue in Cuba with Cuban dissidents.
What the South Florida community would like to know: Just exactly who is the president going to talk to when he gets to Havana?
“He is gonna talk to whoever Raul Castro and the Castro regime permits him to talk to. And he will say it was his decision to meet those people, demanded to meet those people,” said John Suarez with the Directorio Democratico Cubano.
Suarez works directly with Cuba’s dissidents and views the Obama visit as certainly historic and a legacy moment for his administration.
“Both ministers reiterated their commitment to making the visit a success,” Kirby said.
“Obama wants to have his legacy building exercise, having his Nixon in china moment. Obama in Havana will be big great on symbolism and pageantry and short on substance,” Suarez said.
The president and the secretary of state will arrive in Cuba March 21st.