Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told the Palm Beach Republican Party Lincoln Day fundraising dinner on 20 March that US President Barack Obama should not have stayed in Havana after Cuban President Raul Castro was not seen at the airport to greet Obama in Havana.

"There was nobody there to greet him," Trump said. "Obama should have turned the plane around and left. He should have turned it around. He should have said, 'Bye Bye!'"

"And I'm not knocking Castro. I mean if they can get away with this stuff it's great to make it a great deal. Because you know they make it a deal I said it's fine to do it, but you got to make a better deal," he added.

The three-day trip, the first by a US president to the island for 88 years, is the culmination of a diplomatic opening announced by Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro in December 2014, ending a Cold War-era estrangement that began when the Cuban Revolution ousted a pro-American government in 1959.

Donald Trump remains the most popular candidate among Republican voters and was loudly cheered by the crowd during Republican Party Lincoln Day fundraising dinner. At the end of the event, a lounge singer serenaded him with a kitsch version of Stand By Me.