MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump’s rollback of U.S.-Cuba policy was met with both cheers and jeers from the local community.
On one side of the street in Little Havana, supporters praised Trump’s tough line on the island nation.
“I hope that everything he said will come through. Unfortunately, for many years, many, many presidents come through and say ‘Viva Cuba Libre’ and nothing happens. I am hopeful this time it will be,” said Felix Rodriguez, a former CIA operative and Bay of Pigs veteran.
Across the way, protesters held up signs deriding Trump’s decision to rollback the Obama administration’s Cuba initiative.
“I oppose the roll back of the Cuba policy. After the last couple of years, that private employment improved the life of the Cuban people,” said Ernest Medina.
Trump supporters argue the policy change is needed to cripple the Castro regime and military.
“It is very important also to develop a policy that would address the control that the military has in Cuba on all economic institutions on the island,” said long-time Cuban exile and activist Ramon Saul Sanchez.
A supporter added, “We cannot do any business relations with assassins, criminals.”
The Trump-Cuba policy redo goes down well with former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
“I am grateful to Trump. He promised, kept his promise and there is no more green light to help the dictator – a green light for the Cuban people and a red light for the dictatorship,” he said.
But opponents said the move isn’t reflective of how the population really feels.
“Don’t cave into the pressure of a very small minority in the South Florida area,” said Elena Freyre.
And some in the anti-Trump demonstration had more than Cuba on their mind.
“They are racist, the promote bigotry, homophobia and things that I do not want my daughter to see as she grows up in this country,” said protester Laurie Garcia.