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Cuban-Americans in Bay Area closely following President Obama's visit

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Cuban-Americans in the Bay Area are closely following President Obama's visit. They describe it as historic, symbolic and long overdue. (KGO-TV)

Cuban-Americans in the Bay Area are closely following President Obama's visit. They describe it as historic, symbolic and long overdue.

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

Bay Area congresswoman Barbara Lee has been involved in U.S.-Cuba policy since 1977 and since then has traveled there more than 20 times. Nothing beats her latest visit.

She tweeted, "Front seat to history as @POTUS becomes the 1st sitting president in 80+ years to visit Cuba!"



For many, it's also an emotional tug of war.
RELATED: Obama arrives in Havana as first US president to visit Cuba in 90 years

"President Obama's visit is so significant I think because it's happening right now. We don't even realize how significant it is." Zuzy Martin Lynch asked.

Lynch is a Cuban-American and documentarian who just finished "Craving Cuba, a story about her desire to travel to a country she's never visited.

She says ever since the president restored relations with Cuba in 2014, emotions have been overwhelming.

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

"So I think a lot of us in the community were in that boat where we're sort of stuck between two worlds and now we're trying to come to terms with what does this change mean. Does it mean I have a future there? Does it mean I can help with the change there?" she asked.

Cuban-born Greenbrae resident Cristina Garcia is the author of several novels, including "King of Cuba" and "Dreaming in Cuban."

"My relationship to Cuba is very complicated," Garcia said.

She says half her family was for the revolution and the other half was against.

She says her family that's still left in Cuba is excited about the president's visit and what it could mean for their future.

"Their lives have not materially or opportunistically changed in any way yet but they're very hopeful I think that these opportunities will come," she said.

It's a prospect Bay Area Cuban-Americans have been waiting decades for.

RELATED: President Obama's historic trip to Cuba rife with risk, opportunity

Related Topics:
politicspresident barack obamathe white housecubaeconomybusinesshuman rightstourismu.s. & world
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