President Barack Obama has visited a shrine in Miami to honor Cuban Americans.

The White House says Obama stopped at the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity on Thursday. He's honoring the sacrifices Cuban Americans have made in pursuing liberty and recognizing their contributions to the U.S.

The president said "hola" to a group of worshippers as he arrived, and got a tour of the church.

The U.S. and Cuba are close to resolving issues that would allow both countries to re-open embassies for the first time since the U.S. severed diplomatic relations in 1961.

The president's visit comes one day before a 45-day period expires for Congress to challenge Obama's decision to take Cuba off a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

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