The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have kicked off the second half of their royal tour of the Caribbean with a visit to Cuba on Sunday. The three-day visit to the island will include a visit to José Martí's memorial, a visit with the President of Cuba, a roundtable discussion on the country's environmental conservation efforts and learning about the country's historic work in the arts.
The visit, which is part of a 50-engagement royal tour on 10 different islands, is a watershed for the royal family: Charles and Camilla are the first royals to visit Cuba, which has been historically closed-off following a series of strained relationships during the Cold War. Their visit this week will "highlight the growing bilateral relationship with the U.K. and showcase some of the cultural links between the two countries," explains the Prince of Wales' website.
As historic as their visit is, it's also quite controversial.
Notes the BBC, the royal visit to Cuba shows the UK and the United States' "strikingly different" approach to the Caribbean island.
Continues CNN, "President Donald Trump has reversed many of the Obama-era policies toward Cuba, reinstating travel and trade restrictions. His sharp rhetoric has only become more aggressive since the presidential crisis unfolded in Venezuela." Given the monarchy's contentious visit, it's important to note it was the government who sent them there.
"It's the Foreign Office, so the royal family themselves shouldn't be blamed for this, maintained Andrew Lewer, a member of the UK parliament, according to CNN. "Our friends in the United States, the many Cubans in Florida, will rightly be perplexed at the sight of the British royal family making a visit, going on tour, looking around the place, at a time when these despicable acts are taking place."
For more on their divisive visit, watch the video above.
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