9. SOUNDBITE (English): Dr. Ben Carson on the announcement that President Barak Obama will visit Cuba in March: (Transcript below)
Washington, DC - 17 December 2014
10. Split screen showing President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro making announcement
Washington, DC - 19 July 2015
11. Cuban flag being raised at re-opened embassy
Havana - 16 February 2016
12. US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx shaking hands with Cuban Transportation Minister Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez after signing aviation agreement
Washington, DC - 17 December 2014
13. Various views of people, traffic in Malecon beach front area
Washington, DC - 18 February 2016
14. Graphic showing photograph of President Harry Truman (January 1948) over image of Guantanamo Bay
Havana, Cuba - 30 March 2011
15. Pan left of Cuban President Raul Castro and Former US President Jimmy Carter walking towards plane at airport
Havana, Cuba - 19 January 1928
16. STILL IMAGES U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, second from left, and his wife, first lady Grace Coolidge, third from left, are shown with the President of Cuba General Gerardo Machado y Morales, right, and his wife, Elvira Machado, left, walk on the estate of President Machado
IN MARCH, BARACK OBAMA WILL BECOME THE FIRST SITTING U.S. PRESIDENT TO SET FOOT ON CUBA IN MORE THAN 60 YEARS.
THE PRESIDENTIAL VISIT SEEN AS A KEY NEXT STEP TOWARD BRIDGING THE HALF-CENTURY DIVIDE BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS.
SOUNDBITE (English) Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser:
"The president's judgment was that number one: going to Cuba was an important step forward in signaling this new beginning between our two countries and peoples and also importantly, that going to Cuba could help enlarge this space that benefits the Cuban people."
SOUNDBITE (English) Josefina Vidal, Director of the Cuban Foreign Ministry's United States Division:
"His visit will represent a step forward in the improvement of relations between Cuba and the United States. Of course, in order to achieve the normalization of relations between the two countries, the blockade has to be lifted and the territory occupied by the naval base in Guantanamo has to be returned."
OFFICIAL WORD OF THE UPCOMING LATIN AMERICAN TRIP, INCLUDING A STOP IN HAVANA - COMING FIRST VIA THE PRESIDENT'S OWN TWITTER ACCOUNT.
HE SAYS HIS UPCOMING VISIT WILL ADVANCE US EFFORTS TO RESTORE TIES WITH THE COMMUNIST NATION AND IMPROVE THE LIVES OF CUBANS.
THOUGH OBAMA HAD LONG BEEN EXPECTED TO VISIT CUBA IN HIS FINAL YEAR, WORD OF HIS TRAVEL PLANS DREW IMMEDIATE RESISTANCE FROM OPPONENTS OF WARMER TIES WITH CUBA - INCLUDING REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES.
SOUNDBITE (English) Gov. John Kasich, Republican presidential candidate:
"You would like to think that they would kind of do something good, like free political prisoners, opening up freedom of expression and all of those kinds of things and so, I am disappointed in that."
SOUNDBITE (English): Dr. Ben Carson on the announcement that President Barak Obama will visit Cuba in March:
"I believe that it would be much smarter, or would have been much smarter, to wait until they had a change in leadership which has to be coming pretty soon because Raul Castro is 83 or 84 years old ... at that time you have a lot of leverage."
OBAMA AND CUBAN PRESIDENT RAUL CASTRO BEGAN TO THAW RELATIONS MORE THAN A YEAR AGO.
SINCE THEN, EMBASSIES HAVE REOPENED AND STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO RESTORE COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL.
BUT THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS THERE ARE STILL 'SERIOUS DIFFERENCES' WITH THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT AND THAT THE PRESIDENT WILL RAISE HUMAN RIGHTS AND POLITICAL FREEDOM ISSUES DURING HIS VISIT.
THE STATE DEPARTMENT HISTORIAN'S OFFICE SAYS PRESIDENT HARRY TRUMAN VISITED THE U.S.-CONTROLLED GUANTANAMO BAY AND ITS NAVAL BASE ON THE ISLAND IN 1948 AND FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER HAS PAID MULTIPLE VISITS TO THE ISLAND SINCE LEAVING OFFICE IN JANUARY 1981.
BUT NOT SINCE PRESIDENT CALVIN COOLIDGE WENT TO HAVANA IN JANUARY 1928 HAS A SITTING U.S. PRESIDENT BEEN TO THAT CITY.
OBAMA'S CUBA VISIT IS PLANNED FOR MARCH 21ST AND 22ND.