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WCAX: Leahy, Welch part of historic Cuba visit

March 22, 2016
In The News

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman Peter Welch joined President Barack Obama on his historic trip to Cuba this week, where Obama became the first president to visit the country since 1928.

The president hopes his visit will nudge the communist nation to offer its people more freedoms, and perhaps allow for interaction with American businesses.

Vermont's delegation met with Cuban citizens and attended a press conference with Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.

"It is striking to me the sense of jubilation among the Cuban people that we meet. We have on our Congressional pins and our Cuban, American flag pins, and people are approaching us and just very excited about what a hope this means, Rep. Welch said.

"When President Castro was actually asked questions, he became most defensive and said give us the names of any people facing human rights violations and we'll release them," Leahy said.

Congressman Welch also spent some time with Yankees great Derek Jeter.  Welch tweeted his solidarity with Red Sox nation: "It's always important to have a Red Sox cap close by - you never know who you may run into!"