Friday, May 20, 2016

Families who fled not thrilled with renewed US-Cuba relations

Families who fled not thrilled with renewed US-Cuba relations
Jake Whittenberg, KING 11:53 AM. EST May 19, 2016

SEATTLE -- Not everyone is ready to paint a rosy picture when it comes
to renewed US - Cuba relations.

Images of President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro are drawing a
mixed reaction from families who fled the communist regime years ago.

Isabel Espino, 54, was born in Cuba and left with her family when she
was 18. Her father was a pharmaceutical salesman, and she was preparing
to go to college when the Cuban government confronted the family about
their Catholic beliefs. Practicing religion was forbidden under Castro's

Her father was forced to take a government job, and the family was no
longer allowed to go to church.

"If you deny people freedom of speech, if you deny people freedom of
religion, that's not OK," she said.

Espino still finds it difficult to talk negatively about the Cuban
government, because she fears repercussion.

"It still scares me," she said. "It's not a 'touristy' destination for me."
Since her family fled the country, Espino has not returned.

Now that the U.S. is opening up with Cuba, and diplomatic relations are
improving, she and many others are not yet ready to forgive the
government that drove them away from her homeland.

"This all happened at a point where the Cuban government was floundering
badly, which is what we were all been waiting for 50 some years," she
said. "You can ask someone else for their side of the story. But this is
my side."

Source: Not everyone is thrilled with renewed U.S., Cuba relations,
especially famlies who fled | -

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