Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser visits Cuba on a trade mission, where she makes an appeal for change and says there is a ''fierce urgency now.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Washington DC's mayor, Muriel Bowser, was in Cuba on Monday (February 22) as part of a trade mission where she met with Cuban officials and discussed a range of topics from the economy to education. Bowser traveled with officials from Maryland and Virginia on Saturday when they met with Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Charge d'Affaires for the U.S. in Cuba. On Sunday and Monday, the group toured schools and hospitals as well as met with Cuba's Foreign Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, the mayor of Havana and the Cuba's tourism minister. "Leaders came together to focus on how we can grow Washington, DC, and our region and our relationship with Cuba," said Bowser in a news conference wrapping up the day. She called for ongoing change. "The more Americans that come to Cuba in my view, the more Americans will demand change," she said. Bowser also addressed U.S. President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to the island. "We know that the discussions that President Obama will have will be very significant. There's a fierce urgency now. And I know that the president wants to leave his mark before he leaves office," she said. Obama will meet with dissidents and President Raul Castro next month. His visit will be the first by a U.S. president to the Caribbean nation since 1928. The U.S. delegation will be in Cuba until Thursday (February 25).