A delegation of U.S. Catholic church leaders are visiting Cuba and calling on President Obama to end the embargo against the communist nation.
The bishops said the president should seize "a rare political opportunity" to lift the 47-year old economic embargo which they said punishes Cuban citizens.
"We look forward to the day when all Americans and Cuban-Americans will be able to freely visit this country," said Cardinal Sean O'Malley, archbishop of Boston. "We think that that will be a source of overcoming a lot of the misunderstandings and the great psychological distance that exists between the two nations that are only really 90 miles apart."
Opponents argue that easing or lifting the sanctions will only help sustain a Communist government that does not tolerate dissent.
The U.S. embargo was imposed by Washington in 1962 to weaken Cuba's communist government.