Countdown for French President’s Historic Cuba Visit

Francois Hollande will be the first French president in over a century to visit Cuba since the socialist island gained independence in 1898.

French President Francois Hollande arrived in the Saint Martin Friday evening, kicking off his five day Caribbean tour that will end with a historic visit to Cuba, where a French a president has not set foot in over a century.

Hollande’s debut in the Antilles began in Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy – two islands still under French colonial control. He will continue to the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and Martinique Saturday and Sunday, where he will attend an important international climate summit, in preparation for the United Nations climate talks (the COP 20) in Paris later this year.

The president is scheduled to arrive in Havana Monday, where he will continue talks with Cuban president Raul Castro about how to improve relations between the two countries.

European Union countries suspended their relationship with Cuba in 2003. However, in April of 2014, the French and Cuban leaders initiated political dialogue for the first time in years.

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