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Prince Charles becomes first British royal to visit Cuba

Updated : 2019-03-25 13:45:36

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla landed in Havana on Sunday for the first official trip by the British royal family to Communist-run Cuba even as Britain's top ally the United States seeks to isolate the island nation.

Shortly after arriving on a Royal Air Force plane, the heir to the British throne laid a wreath of flowers at the memorial to independence hero Jose Marti on Havana's Revolution Square dominated by massive portraits of guerrilla fighters including Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

During his three-day historic visit, which is part of a broader Caribbean tour, the 70-year old Prince of Wales is set to dine with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, tour Havana's restored colonial district, visit community and green energy projects and review a parade of antique British cars.

The royal visit, in line with a broader normalization in relations between the West and Cuba, comes three years after one by former US President Barack Obama then billed as the start of a new chapter for ties between the old Cold War foes

Since Donald Trump became US president, however, the United States has reverted to its decades-old strategy of seeking to pressure Cuba to change, including tightening its crippling trade embargo on the island.

Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Britain's Prince Charles attends a wreath-laying ceremony as he arrives in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Britain's Prince Charles attends a wreath-laying ceremony as he arrives in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, attend a welcoming ceremony as they arrive in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, attend a welcoming ceremony as they arrive in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
The Union Flag and Cuba's national flag flutter above a guard of honour as Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
The Union Flag and Cuba's national flag flutter above a guard of honour as Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Members of a guard of honour are pictured as Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Members of a guard of honour are pictured as Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
A pilot looks out of the cockpit as the plane carrying Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrives in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
A pilot looks out of the cockpit as the plane carrying Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrives in Havana, Cuba, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
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