Mayor Bowser Heads to Cuba on Saturday

Bowser is off to Cuba this weekend. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With President Barack Obama’s Cuba trip about a month away, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is headed to the Caribbean island.  

The goal of this trip is to form relationships for future opportunities in Cuba and “showcase the Washington metropolitan area’s strengths in transportation, tourism, health and education,” according to a news release.  

Diaz-Balart Gumming Up Obama's Cuba Thaw Plans

Diaz-Balart prefers a low-key style of legislating through the appropriations process (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is not a quiet man. The gregarious Florida Republican, known for sudden eruptions of laughter and dramatic gesticulations, is hard to miss in a crowd. But when it comes to legislating, the seven-term lawmaker blends in, working methodically, usually behind the scenes, to put his stamp on policy.  

That's how the son of Cuban exiles has become one of the Obama administration's biggest obstacles to normalizing relations with the communist nation 90 miles south of Florida. President Barack Obama's Cuba initiative hits close to home for the Miami lawmaker — his storied political family was forced to abandon the island after Fidel Castro's 1959 takeover.