Bay Area Cuban-Americans have mixed views on U.S. opening up to Cuba

EMBED </>More News Videos

Cuban Americans in the Bay Area are talking about President Obama's historic visit to their homeland. (AP Photo/Enric Marti)

Cuban Americans in the Bay Area are talking about President Obama's historic visit to their homeland.

The block of Mission and 24th streets is San Francisco's version of Little Havana. San Francisco's small but passionate Cuban-American population has strong opinions on this big political change.

PHOTOS: President Obama and family visit Cuba

Antonio Lopez, now 61, was only 10 when he escaped to the U.S. He thinks rapprochement should have been made a long time ago.

"My mother is still in Cuba. She's probably dead already. I don't even know about her. I got brothers and sisters, who I don't even know," he said.

"I absolutely believe he's doing the right thing," said George Gascon.

One of the most famous Cuban-Americans in San Francisco is the city's district attorney, George Gascon. His father actually fought for the revolution.

RELATED: President Obama's trip to Cuba: What you need to know

"Once it became obvious it was not a democracy, he was disenchanted and eventually we left," said Gascon.

Gascon was only 13-years-old when he came to the United States. But he supports the improvement in U.S.-Cuban relations.

He's only been back once, 13 years ago, when took his wife and their children and he saw some relatives for the first time.

"They have enough money to pay for food and necessities for half the month, and then the other half of the month, they're really struggling," he explained.

RELATED: Why President Obama won't meet with Fidel Castro

Gascon's mother, like many older Cuban Americans, is unsure about the bold move. But Gascon is from a younger generation.

He says, "The more openness, more transparency there is in Cuba, the better it is for Cuban people and for American people as well."

That, Gacon says, is a good first step.

RELATED: Obama's historic trip to Cuba rife with risk opportunity
Related Topics:
politicspresident barack obamabarack obamathe white housecubaeconomybusinesshuman rightstourismu.s. & worldgeorge gasconSan Francisco
(Copyright ©2016 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments