Minister of State for the Americas Peter Kent will travel to Cuba next month to push for the release of political prisoners and democratic reforms, Canwest News Service reported. Mr. Kent's official visit on behalf of the Canadian government will be the first since 1999, when then Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien visited. Plans for the official trip come in the wake of U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to ease restrictions on Cuba. "It's evident that change is in the air. The election of the Obama administration has given real momentum to the sort of change that Canada has been encouraging for a long time," Mr. Kent said.