President Barack Obama arrived to small but cheering crowds on Sunday at the start of a historic visit to Cuba that opened a new chapter in U.S. engagement with the island's Communist government after decades of hostility between the former Cold War foes. The three-day trip, the first by a U.S. president to Cuba in 88 years, is the culmination of a diplomatic opening announced by Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro in December 2014, ending an estrangement that began when the Cuban revolution ousted a pro-American government in 1959. "It's a historic opportunity to engage directly with the Cuban people," Obama told staff at the newly reopened U.S. Embassy, who were gathered at a hotel, his first stop after arriving in the afternoon. Read more >>
The cartoon shows Obama ordering a 'Cuba Libre' at the Castro bar, somewhere in Cuba. The bartender, who is none other than Cuban president Raul Castro, gives him a dirty look. A picture of a cigar-smoking Fidel Castro, Raul's older brother, hangs on the wall.
The Cuba Libre (/ˈkjuːbə ˈliːbreɪ/; Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkuβa ˈliβɾe]) is a cocktail made of cola, lime, and dark or light rum. This cocktail is often referred to as a Rum and Coke in the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, where the lime juice may or may not be included. However, Cuba Libre is also Spanish for 'Free Cuba', and the cartoonist is playing on this double meaning. Obama wants the drink because he's hot, but he'd also like Cuba to be free from one-party Communist rule.
Accounts of the invention of the Cuba Libre vary. One account claims that the drink (Spanish for Free Cuba) was invented in Havana, Cuba around 1901/1902. Patriots aiding Cuba during the Spanish–American War—and, later, expatriates avoiding Prohibition—regularly mixed rum and cola as a highball and a toast to this Caribbean island. Read more >>
• A U.S. tourist in Cuba (another Chappatte cartoon)
• Cubans Pack the Streets for a Glimpse of President Obama (New York Times)
• Obama begins historic visit to Cuba (Washington Post)
• The Road to Havana (The Atlantic)
• Obama becomes the first President to set foot in Cuba for NINE DECADES (MailOnline)