From: HAIM Laurence
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2016 7:53 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO
Subject: Foreign pool report / State Diner in la Havana-menu /Laura HAIM
FROM The Cuban palace Pre set pool report
At 6:45 pm, at the side entrance of the Presidential palace in Havana, guests for the State Dinner began to arrive.
The first ones were senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and the First Lady’s Chief of Staff Tina Tchen. Then a bus came bringing members of Congress.
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi wore a full white lace suit, and began speaking with Josefina Vidal, the chief negotiator from the Republic of Cuba. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas told your pooler, “It’s powerful. We really see the opportunities here. The President made the right decision, not only for the United States, but also for the world.”
Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont was talking to several Congressmen and to Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the chargé d’affaires to Cuba. Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York told us, “I’m excited. This is historic. It worked very well. The Cuban people, we love them, and they love us. I was in Cuba a few months ago when the President made his first announcement. An old lady told me a story. ‘Do you know why Cubans love Americans so much? One, because of baseball. And two, because of everything else.’”
The guests went up the stairs to a huge hall room where we awaited the arrival of the Presidents.
On the first floor in a very large dining room with black marble floors and dozens of tropical trees placed throughout, the American delegation was waiting with President Obama. Secretary John Kerry joined them, and from a distance we were able to see everybody talking to each other.
Each table could seat twelve people. In the center of each table there was a small vase with small red roses and white flowers in a traditional setting.
Each chair was covered with draped orange cloth.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest had Senator Leahy on his right, and Congressman Rangel and Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona were at the same table.
The following menu printed on each table :
"'Shrimp mousse under kisch supreme with cream of mojito;
golden cream soup flavored with Caney rum accompanied by slivers of ham;
Traditional pork garnished with baby tamales with plantain chips;
Trio of Grandmother's sweets."'
President Obama and the First Lady arrived with President Castro.
When they were seating down at their table,a Cuban orchestra began to play.
When we left a few minutes later The American President was looking at it and the menu.
White House Correspondent Canal Plus- I tele French TV
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