The first direct mail flight to Cuba in 50 years took off Wednesday carrying a letter from President Barack Obama.
The letter was written to 76-year-old Ileana Yarza, a Cuban who has been writing Obama for years.
Obama has made warming relations with Cuba a priority in his final year in office. He plans to take a trip to the country on Sunday, which will mark the first visit by an American president in nearly nine decades.
Yarza wrote in February that she had been waiting a long time to meet him.
“I think there are not many Cubans so eager as I to meet you in person,” she wrote on February 18. ”Not as an important American personality, but as a charming president whose open smile wins hearts.”
Obama’s reply read, in part:
“I am looking forward to visiting Havana to foster this relationship and highlight our shared values … hopefully, I will have time to enjoy a cup of Cuban coffee.”