Why President Obama Won’t Meet With Fidel Castro

Obama will be meeting with Raul Castro.

“He’ll be meeting with Raul Castro as the President of Cuba,” Rhodes continued. “That’s the appropriate government-to-government engagement, and so that’s what he’ll be pursuing.”

Since coming to power in 2006, when Fidel Castro stepped aside due to health problems, the junior Castro’s rule has been characterized by a softer, more pragmatic approach to engaging with the rest of the world. That shift has provided an opening for the reestablishment of diplomatic relations and economic exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba.

While historic progress has been made in the U.S.-Cuban relationship in the last two years, the elder Fidel continues to represent an era of distrust and severed relations between the two nations.

Following the reestablishment of bilateral diplomatic ties, the elder Fidel published a letter in a Cuban state-run newspaper to express his cynicism at the road ahead.

"I don't trust the policy of the U.S., nor have I exchanged a word with them, but this does not mean I reject a peaceful solution to conflicts,” Castro wrote in the letter.