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Obama makes first US presidential trip to Cuba in 88 years

President Barack Obama has made the first US presidential trip to Cuba in 88 years today, ending decades of hostility between the two nations in the wake of the Cuban revolution.

Arriving in Havana for the start of a three-day trip to cement the start of new relations between the two countries Obama publicly shared his excitement at touching down on Cuban soil by tweeting "Que Bola Cuba" which translates as "How's it going Cuba?"

Obama was met by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on his arrival but is due to be given a formal welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace on Monday where he will meet the country's President Raul Castro.

Video report by ITV News correspondent Juliet Bremner.

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Barack Obama to make historic Cuba trip

Tourists walk past a large poster of Cuban revolutionary hero 'Che' Guevara. Credit: Reuters

Barack Obama will make a historic visit to Havana next month, becoming the first US president to visit Cuba in nine decades.

The brief visit - part of a trip to Latin American - is another step on the road to reconciliation between the US and Cuba, who have been estranged since the Cuban revolution in 1959.

Mr Obama and Cuban president Raul Castro moved to re-establish ties in 2015 when embassies were reopened in the respective countries.

Critics of the move point to the oppressive nature of the regime in Cuba, with Cuban-American Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz saying that Obama should not visit whilst the Castro family remains in power.

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Pope Francis calls for Cuban 'revolution of tenderness'

Pope Francis has celebrated Mass at Cuba's holiest shrine in the sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, Cuba's holiest shrine in the shadow of the Sierra Maestra mountains.

The Pope used his third and last Mass on the island to call for a "revolution of tenderness" and renewal of faith.

Pope Francis prays inside the sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity in El Cobre, Cuba. Credit: Reuters
Pope Francis talks with children at the sanctuary. Credit: Reuters

Pope meets former Cuban president Fidel Castro

Pope meets former Cuban president Fidel Castro Credit: Reuters

Pope Francis has met Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro as part of his nine-day trip to Cuba and the US.

The Pope called on the 89-year-old former president at his home, a Vatican spokesman said, and gave him several of his official papal writings, as well as two books on spirituality and a book and CD on the writings of Father Armando Llorente, a Jesuit priest who taught Castro in secondary school.

Fidel Castro led the Cuban government from 1959 until he resigned for health reasons, provisionally in 2006 and then definitively in 2008, handing power to his older brother, Raul.

Earlier on Sunday the Pope celebrated Mass in Havana's Revolution Square.

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