Cubans in South Florida hopeful for change

Posted at 5:12 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 18:27:36-04

President Joe Biden has directed his administration to review remittances being sent to Cubans on the island. This is the process in which Cuban-Americans can transfer money to their families in Cuba.

The president is also looking to increase staff at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

At local bakeries, Cubans discussing the latest from Washington, D.C. are happy to hear Cuba talks are on the table for President Biden. But many said what's mostly needed right now is internet access in Cuba, so the efforts of protesters don't go silent into the night.

More than 30 years ago, Brandon Cabrera’s grandfather’s opened Tropical Bakery in Palm Springs with a lot of sacrifices.

"My family has instilled a lot of sacrifice given the situation where my grandfather had to sacrifice everything that we had a lot in Cuba, and we sacrificed it all to start new," Cabrera said.

Today, many first-generation Cuban-Americans like Cabrera live with that embodied work ethic.

"Growing up here, there was no excuse to not be successful, to be able to hold your own," Cabrera said.

Cabrera is watching the latest reaction from the U.S., President Biden's call to review how remittances are being sent to Cuba, and increasing the staff at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

"Time is being wasted essentially, granted steps need to be taken if this is one step great, it needs to be a quick step and move onto the next," Cabrera said.

Other Cuban-Americans agree.

"It's a good first step," said Rick Gonzalez. "There are a lot of other steps he could be taking. I understand some people are working on the internet provider services that's critical again."

Without internet access, many Cubans have not been able to communicate with their families on the island, and the Cubans fighting for freedom there are essentially cut off from sharing what’s happening on the streets.

Cabrera is hopeful he will get to see the "Free Cuba" his grandparents dreamed of.

"I'm optimistic," Cabrera said. "You have a lot of things that need to happen and you have many years of the same thing going on. So it's tough to really be positive about the whole situation, but you're optimistic."