Kerry postpones visit to Cuba ahead of Obama's trip
© Getty Images

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryTrump's dangerous Guantánamo fixation will fuel fire for terrorists Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny Overnight Tech: Senate Dems want FCC chief recused from Sinclair merger | Tech rallies on Capitol Hill for DACA | Facebook beefs up lobbying ranks MORE will not be traveling to Havana early this month, as has been tentatively planned, ahead of President Obama's visit amid continued concerns over the government's human rights record.

Sources told Reuters the trip was canceled because a trip in the timeframe mentioned by Kerry was viewed as not constructive to negotations between U.S. and Cuban officials on various issues, including Obama seeing political dissidents. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Kerry told lawmakers during a congressional hearing last month that he may visit Cuba in the first week or two of March to discuss human rights issues ahead of Obama's March 21–22 visit.

“The secretary is still interested in visiting in the near future, and we are working with our Cuban counterparts and our embassy to determine the best time frame,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

A U.S. official said that in addition to the agenda and human-rights issues for Kerry's trip, the U.S. Embassy's staff was overwhelmed in preparing for Obama's trip too, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It would have been Kerry's second trip to Cuba after he raised a flag over the U.S. Embassy in Havana during a trip in August as part of efforts to increase bilateral relations between the two countries.

Obama will make his first visit to the isolated island nation later this month, where he is scheduled to attend an exhibition baseball game between U.S. and Cuban teams and is expected to meet dissidents and Cuban officials.