While the Cuban embargo remains in place, the recent moves by President Barack Obama is giving many of the Cuban people something they haven’t had in years: hope.
“I’m 42 years old. I lost my dreams. I lost my youth. I lost my hope. They robbed me of everything,” a Cuban resident told NBC 6’s Carlos Harrison. “I have a 3-year-old son. I hope he’ll be able to see some of the things I didn’t, without trouble, with liberty; able to go where he wants without problems, without having to pay the party and the militia, without having to swallow slogans.”
Still, many of the Cubans NBC 6 talked to in the island nation said that although they know changes are planned, how long the changes will take to be put in place could be lengthy.
“The problem is not the change; the problem is how long it’s going to make it happen,” a Cuban told Harrison. “We’re talking about maybe five or 10 years for it to get here.”
Some changes have already started in Cuba. Where homes were once assigned, they are now rented openly. Private restaurants advertise for customers and private stores line the streets. Still, the possibility of a thaw in relations with the United States is bringing hope that hasn’t been seen in decades.
“I’m not going to tell you it’s going to happen next month, but everything is going to get fixed,” said Felipe Alvarez.
“Honestly, I’d like it to be soon. We’ve been waiting for such a long time. We’ve waited a long time for there to be more prosperity. Our economy has deteriorated enormously, and we need for there to be changes for it to recover again,” said Marco Antonio.