President Barack Obama will visit Cuba in the coming weeks as part of a broader trip to Latin America, reports say.
Barack Obama will be only the second sitting US president in history to travel to Cuba, after Calvin Coolidge in 1928.
Republicans have criticized the visit, saying it should not take place while the Castro family is in power.
Washington and Havana restored diplomatic ties in July 2015 and the US relaxed travel and trade restrictions after a 54-year freeze.
Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, both sons of Cuban migrants, said the visit was a mistake.
Asked whether he would go, Marco Rubio said: “Not if it’s not a free Cuba.”
Ted Cruz said Barack Obama would be acting “as an apologist”.
In December, Barack Obama told Yahoo News he wanted to meet political dissidents in Cuba to help “nudge the Cuban government in a new direction”.
Cuba’s government responded by saying Barack Obama was welcome to visit but should not meddle in the country’s internal affairs.
Barack Obama’s visit could coincide with the signing of a peace deal in Havana between the Colombian government and rebels from the Farc group to end that country’s civil war, due to take place by March 23.
The deal was encouraged by the Cuban government.
On February 16, US and Cuban officials signed a deal to resume commercial air traffic for the first time in five decades.
However, the Republican majority in the Congress has blocked Barack Obama’s call to end the longstanding trade embargo.
The embargo limits trade and also bans US tourists from visiting Cuba.
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