— -- President Obama and the first family have arrived in Cuba, for the first visit to the island nation by a sitting U.S. president in nearly 90 years.
The visit comes just 15 months after the announcement that the U.S. and Cuba would be restoring diplomatic ties.
As Air Force One was still on the runway, Obama tweeted that he was "looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people."
President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama, will spend two and a half days in Cuba on an official state visit which will include a bilateral meeting with President Raul Castro.
There was no pomp and circumstance as the first family descended the steps onto Cuban soil, and they were not greeted by Castro in person, as he did when Pope Francis visited the country last September. Instead the Obamas were greeted by high level members in the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. and Cuban Embassies.
Obama is being joined by a massive U.S. delegation during his visit; 39 members of Congress including five Republicans will be following his movements.
Obama is scheduled to address the Cuban people in a speech Tuesday and also to attend a baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National team. On board Air Force One with the president Sunday included the wife and daughter of the late MLB legend Jackie Robinson.
In his first stop, President Obama visited U.S. Embassy staff at a local hotel, where he called his visit "a historic opportunity."
"Back in 1928, President Coolidge came on a battleship, it took him three days to get here," Obama said. "It only took me three hours."