From: Parsons, Christi
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2016 8:02 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO; Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Cc: Parsons, Christi
Subject: POTUS print pool #7 -- state dinner
After an hour at the ambassador's residence, POTUS left with FLOTUS for the state dinner. Once in the city, the Obamas passed several groups of people standing on the street and taking pictures of the motorcade.
President Castro, POTUS and FLOTUS entered the state dinner at 7:30 pm and were met by applause. POTUS immediately introduced Castro to Leader Nancy Pelosi. The president's party sat and listened as a Cuban orchestra, with brass and bass, struck up a lively "Cicuta Tibia" and then slid into a mambo. Members of Congress stood in a bank to the side and took pictures of the Obamas while the pool was present. The large hall is the same one where the presidents reviewed the troops this morning, only now there are tables with white linen and small, simple bowls of red roses. The program says the diners will eat a meal that includes traditional pork and plantain chips. People are dressed modestly in business attire or casual cocktail; POTUS is wearing a suit and FLOTUS is in a knee-length floral print with black background. We are told to expect no toasts and no speeches. The only over-the-top thing about this dinner is the spectacular music.
From the White House, a list of those at the head table:
The First Lady
Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez
Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla
Esteban Lazo Hernandez