MARCH MADNESS: From Obama to Jagger, Havana is in a whirl
If you were a little bird flying over Havana this sunny morning you’d probably be able to predict where President Barak Obama and the First Lady are going to be next. From painting and planting to asphalting avenues the capital has been in a frenzy of preparation. It’s the first time in 88 years that a US President has set foot on the island and its BIG news.
This historic visit follows on from December 2014 and the surprise, simultaneous, US/Cuba announcement – after some years of secret negotiating – to finally resume diplomatic relations. It heralds further US-Cuba openings for business, flights and tourism, and will no doubt see Americans hit the island like a tsunami. The pros and cons of all of this depend on who you speak to.
Then there’s The Stones and the Bay Rays
But there’s more. The Rolling Stones (known here as Los Rollings) are coming too. Jagger visited the island last year but this Friday (25 March) will also see the first-ever Stones performance in a country that had them – along with the Beatles and other ‘’undesirables’’ – virtually prohibited in the 60’s and 70’s. Hundreds of thousands – both from inside Cuba, the regions and Miami – are expected to fill this free, open concert.
Finally, the Tampa Bay Rays – a top major league baseball team – join the jamboree and will play la crème de la crème of Cuba’s own national squad. Baseball is both countries’ passionately-followed national game so feelings will run high. Obama will be present, probably cheering on his own side but, win or lose, March in Havana can’t fail to impress.