President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, children Sasha and Malia and the first lady's mother, Marian Robinson, touched down in Havana on Air Force One touched down in Havana at 4:20pm ET on Sunday, the heavens stayed open enough for the wheels hit the tarmac, with the first drops of rain falling as the Obamas walked out.
The first sitting president in nearly 90 years to visit the island, a trip the White House says will 'deepen' America's relationship with the authoritarian government following more than half a century of tension.
Obama and his entourage were whisked off the runway to Melia Habana hotel to meet with U.S. embassy staff before their tour of Old Havana, a family excursion that was ill-fated, given the torrential downpour, but left on the schedule nonetheless as the U.S. president made a symbolic display of solidarity with the Cuban people.
'This is a historic visit and a historic opportunity,' Obama told embassy staff as he greeted them and reflected on the seven months since the embassy reopened in Havana last July. 'I want you to know, everyone we've accomplished so far ... It's all happening because of you. Every day you're bringing the US and Cuba closer together.'
Cuban and American flags flew from the president's car as it left the airport in the direction of central Havana.
The first family will now spend three days on the island, then fly to Argentina for another two before returning to Washington just before the Easter holiday.
As they left, Washington protesters marching against Cuba's human rights record were arrested in Havana.