Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva says he plans to work for democracy in Cuba and against the U.S. economic embargo on the communist-run island.

President da Silva made the comment following a meeting in Rome with Cuban National Assembly speaker Ricardo Alarcon. The two officials met at Brazil's embassy in Rome Friday after attending the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

Mr. da Silva said his country must help in the fight against the U.S. economic embargo, saying that Brazil has a chance to help restore normal relations for Cuba.

Washington has consistently defended the four-decade-long embargo against Cuba, saying it is a necessary part of the strategy to liberate the island from Fidel Castro.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.