Havana is preparing to welcome President Barack Obama on his historic visit to Cuba, the first by a sitting U.S. president in 88 years. As Gavino Garay reports, many locals are excited about where the visit may lead.
The mood in Havana is upbeat as the city prepares to greet U.S. president Barack Obama. After decades of hostility between Cuba and Washington, and a U.S. trade embargo, many here see the visit as a sign of a stronger economic future. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) STREET PHOTOGRAPHER, JOSE DEL TORO, SAYING: "Cuba needs improvements, and I think this will come with these relations between Cuba and the United States, I do not know if it will be in one year, two years, but I think that Cuba deserves improvements." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESTAURANT OWNER, NIURIS HIGUERAS, SAYING: "I have 15 employees, who earn well, and receive good tips, because the Americans give good tips, so this helps them look after their families, their families benefit, as do their friends, so it is a network, everything is connected." But those connections are still hampered by the trade embargo. Many wonder if Obama's visit will make a difference to U.S. lawmakers, who have so far refused to lift sanctions on the island, even as American companies line up for permission to operate in a country that for decades, has been off limits.