Cuban immigrant living in Central Florida opens up about unrest on the island

Apopka business owner says he is happy people are standing up to communist government

APOPKA, Fla. – With a Cuban cafecito on the table, restaurant owner Herber Ojeda opened up about what it was like living in Cuba before he came to the United States.

He moved to Central Florida in 2001 and opened up his business in Apopka in 2008.

“What can I say, it was hard for me. Hard for my family. That’s why I decided to leave to have better opportunities,” he said.

He explained he never imagined seeing what he’s seeing now in Cuba — protests and the fight for freedom.

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“After 62 years of the regime, it was about time that this happened because people got tired of everything that’s happened there. No food, no freedom. No medicine, everyone is dying with the COVID,” Ojeda said.

Ojeda said he still has some family members living on the island like cousins and uncles.

He recently spoke to them, but the call was a quick one since the internet was shut off not long after the protests began.

“The government, they won’t give up just like that. They will fight and there’s going to be a lot of trouble before something happens,” Ojeda said.

Ojeda said he’s glad to the Cuban people are finally standing up to the communist regime and he’s hoping for change.

“We need to fight together. This is the opportunity to do everything to get out of communism,” Ojeda said in Spanish (Hay que luchar, todos juntos y esta es la oportunidad de hacer todo para salir del comunismo).

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!