President Obama said during an interview from Cuba that 'the time is right' for change in the former Cold War foe.

"Obviously, our intention has always been to get a ball rolling, knowing that change wasn't going to happen overnight. ... We felt that coming now would maximize our ability to prompt more change. ... And it gives us, I think, the opportunity before I leave office to continue to stay on track in moving things forward," Obama said Sunday in Havana in an interview with ABC News anchor David Muir.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Change is going to happen, and I think that [Cuban President] Raúl Castro understands that."

Obama traveled to Cuba on Sunday, marking the first time in nearly 90 years a sitting U.S. president has traveled to the Communist island nation.

During his trip, the president plans to meet with Castro and representatives of the private sector in addition to giving a historic speech in Havana.

He told ABC that there is still "some work to do."

"I think it is very important for the United States not to view ourselves as the agents of change here, but rather to encourage and facilitate Cubans themselves to bring about changes. ... We want to make sure that whatever changes come about are empowering Cubans," he said.