[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/08/cuba.travel/art.fidelsign.cnn.jpg caption="A man passes in front a graffiti reading 'Fidel' in Havana, Cuba."](CNN) - "It's time to talk to Cuba."
That frank assessment from Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California, has resonated loud and clear from the island of Cuba - 90 miles from the southernmost point of Florida - to the halls of Congress.
For the first time in nearly 50 years, relations between the two nations, which has a history steeped in tension, have seemed to ease a bit.
And that was no more apparent than this week, as a delegation from the Congressional Black Caucus traveled to the communist country on a fact-finding mission, with plans to deliver a report to the White House.
"Our purpose was to see if there were preconditions on the Cuban side. We heard that there were no preconditions," Lee said Wednesday. "And, in fact, we wanted to find out if they were interested. We have to remember that every country in Latin America, 15 countries, have normal relations with Cuba. ... We're the country which is isolated."