Local reaction to change in US Cuban policy

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- News of a change in U.S. policy towards Cuba has hit close to home for Cuban families in the Piedmont Triad.

Dr. Juan Fernandez, with Greensboro Gynecology, hasn’t been back to Cuba since he moved in 1961.

“The Communist Regime dragged my father out of the house and we didn't see him for over six months. They finally released him, but I remember as a child hearing the firing squads outside my house and seeing the tanks and military equipment coming through the front of our house,” said Fernandez.

His father eventually got their family a visa to move here through the Archdiocese of Miami.

“His goal was a better life than what we were accustomed in Cuba,” said Fernandez.

That’s exactly what the family got. Fernandez is an OB/GYN and now he’s hoping the Cuban people will get opportunities for a better life too.

However, he worries re-establishing a relationship with the Cuban government may not be the answer.

“I don't believe it's going to make major changes. Lifting the embargo, or having free trade or travelling to Cuba -- the money may just be going to the Communist Party. It may not go to the people for their basic necessities and to be able to have the freedoms like we have in this country,” said Fernandez.

Although Fernandez considers the United States his country now, he says his roots remain in Cuba.

“The basic human rights that we all sometimes take for granted in this country, that's what I hope for the Cuban people,” said Fernandez.

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