Local Cuban residents speak on U.S.-Cuba relations

COLUMBUS, Ga — Imagine if we could get on a plane and travel back in time about 50 years. That is what two Columbus residents, Marta Stewart Trueax and Cristina Pena, say it would be like for them return to Cuba. They say they will never fly back…at least not until freedom first touches down.

“Until the government changes nothing will change for the people,” says Marta.

In the new year President Elect Donald Trump could throw a wrench into Obama’s two years of progress.

Although, Dr. Troy Vidal, with CSU sees Cuba through a different political lens. All three have the same end goal: What’s best for Cubans.

“I am hopefully optimistic about restoring relations…We can’t bring about too rapid of change that would really hurt the Cuban people,” says Vidal,” says Vidal.

He explains the reason behind his thoughts: “If you lived in a home one day..the next day it was the property of the state..of course a lot of animosity to this day..now my family came over in the early 1900’s so our attitude is much different into opening up Cuba,” says Vidal.

Cristina and Marta are praying Trump’s policies prove more in-line with their hearts. As for their hearts…they say they are sown together.

“We didn’t know each other in Cuba, but here we meet. We didn’t know each other there and sporadically we have found several connections,” says Cristina.

These women’s stories are eerily the same and both say they have memories of the armed military lining them up in their parent’s homes. They say they try to focus on the positive memories from Cuba and instead of these horrific ones.

Their friendship they say is deeply divine and has even proven healing, but make no mistake.. they say complete healing for them will only come when Cubans are no longer captives.

“The worst thing in Cuba is the lack of freedom, the persecution, the incarceration, the harassment,” says Cristina.

Dr. Vidal says the history department at CSU is set to offer a study abroad program to Cuba.

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