NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Cubans in southeastern Connecticut are watching what is unfolding during President Obama’s visit to the island nation.
While some see it as the start of change one man News8 spoke to in New London does not want to see his communist homeland changed too much.
“I don’t feel as safe here as I used to feel in Cuba,” he tells News8 as long as his identity is kept secret. “I never been traumatized that in the school I’m going to be shot like here.”
The man wanted to remain anonymous out of fear for his safety here in the U.S. He thinks President Obama’s visit to Cuba is a good thing but he is proud of his communist country.
“In Cuba we don’t work for money we work for helping people cause the government pay us for house, food, school, health,” he says.
He also says they enjoy fresh produce and not processed foods.
“I don’t want my country changed,” he says.
“Over there you can’t say what you want. I have family members who were put in prison because they spoke out against the government,” says Alex Rodriquez who is the student government association president at Mitchell College.
He sees things differently. He believes the president’s visit to Cuba is a good start.
“It could potentially set the Cuban-American relations on the right track and hopefully if any money goes overseas it will go to the people where it is needed and not the government,” says Rodriguez.
His grandfather was in a labor program in Cuba and won a lottery which allowed him to bring his family to Connecticut.
“The government just told them all of the stuff that’s in your house is ours leave it,” says Rodriguez. “So they were actually throwing stuff over their back wall into their neighbor’s yard because they didn’t want the government to have it.”
He believes Cubans have been enslaved for the past fifty years. He graduates with a degree in Criminal Justice in May.
“This is the only place I would ever want to live,” says Rodriguez.
One of Alex’s aspirations is to get into politics and he says if he was in Cuba that is something he definitely would not be able to do.