Barack Obama the president of the United States has asked Spain to pass on a message via the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero calling for democratic reform in Cuba.

Six days after the Spanish prime minister met with Obama the Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, visited Cuba and met with its current President Raul Castro.

A US official stated on Sunday that Obama told Moratinos that the Castro regime should be encouraged to improve human rights, and take steps towards reform.

The US and Cuba have had poor relations since Fidel Castro led a revolution to bring communism to Cuba in 1959.

The US official also said that Obama told Zapatero that while change in relations will not happen overnight, now is the time to for both countries to start taking steps towards diplomatic friendliness, as the US continues to strengthen its relations with the Caribbean and Latin America.