President Barack Obama said Sunday as he visited with U.S. Embassy staff in rainy Havana that he hoped the sight of a U.S. president in Cuba would quickly become something Cubans are used to seeing.
“¡Muchas gracias!” the president said at a staff gathering on his arrival in Havana, where he embarked on what he called a mission to “forge new agreements and commercial deals and build new ties, and for me to lay out vision for a future brighter than our past.”
U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis introduced the president by reminding staffers that Obama had promised “Yes, we can,” and he said that with the opening of Cuba, “Yes, we did.”
Obama interrupted to declare, “Yes, we did!” to applause.
“For the first time, the American flag flies over an embassy, and having the embassy here means we can more effectively advance our interests and values and understand the Cuban people and their concerns,” Obama said.
“We hope they think it’s natural that a U.S. president would visit Cuba and the two peoples are working together,” he added.