President Laura Chinchilla will land in Cuba on Monday to participate in a summit of heads of state. The visit comes 52 years since the last time a Costa Rican president put foot on the island ruled by Fidel and Raul Castro. Chinchilla is attending the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which is a continental body that excludes the United States and Canada. Laura Chinchilla will assume from Raul Castro the presidency of the body for Costa Rica.
This visit is also the first time a president of Costa Rica has traveled to Cuba since a revolution led by Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista in 1959. In 1962, then ex-president José Figueres Ferrer went to Havana on an official trip as the representative of the government led by President Mario Echandi. At the time Costa Rica had broken diplomatic relations under pressure from the United States.