BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The U.S. flag was raised above the American Embassy in Havana on Friday for the first time since 1961.
While many disagree with the U.S. opening diplomatic relations with Cuba, some Cuban Americans are celebrating the U.S. flag flying again in the country. Including a mother and her son living in Biloxi.
A year after the American flag was lowered in Cuba, in 1962 at age 26 Maria Vesa fled her home country for the United states.
"In Cuba we tried to live a normal life but it wasn't possible," said Vesa.
Maria has lived the rest of her life in American. She's only been able to go back to Cuba once. Friday was a time of reflection and celebration for her.
"When I saw that American flag going up today on a beautiful day in Cuba," said Vesa. "I called my sister, I couldn't get through because it was busy, but I know everyone was calling the house talking, saying hey - hey. Everybody is so excited in Cuba."
She proudly displays the American flag outside her house in Biloxi. Vesa said that flag flying back in her home country is just a beginning step towards her family having better lives.
"Cuba may never be the same again, but I really believe if the Cuban people have the light of the Americans there then they will begin to get a chance to have a better life," said Vesa.
Maria's son Alex may have never been to Cuba but he's proud of his heritage and hopes to one day meet his family there. Although he thinks a positive step has been made, he doesn't expect significant change until the Castros are no longer in power.
"They're killers, let's not mince words they're killers," said Alex Vesa. "They're going to have to go away before a real change is implemented."
Cuba reopened its embassy in the United States last month.