President Obama Sends Letter to Cuba on First Direct Mail Flight in 50 Years

The letter was on a flight carrying the first direct mail to Cuba in 50 years.

That collection of letters included one from President Obama to 76-year-old Cuban Ileana Yarza, who wrote to the president in February.

“I have invited you to a cup of Cuban coffee at my place in Vedado, if and when you would finally come,” Yarza wrote in a letter posted on the White House blog. “I think there are not many Cubans so eager as I to meet you in person not as an important American personality but as a charming president whose open smile wins hearts.”

The president, who will travel to Cuba on Sunday for a two-day trip, replied in a letter that was also posted on the blog.

“I hope this note -- which will reach you by way of the first direct mail flight between the United States and Cuba in over 50 years -- serves as a reminder of a bright new chapter in the relationship between our two nations,” Obama wrote in a letter dated March 14.

He added: “I am looking forward to visiting Havana to foster this relationship and highlight our shared values -- and, hopefully, I will have time to enjoy a cup of Cuban coffee.”