AVON LAKE, OH (WOIO) - Hector and Fernando Oliva left Cuba with just baby photos. The brothers were under two-years-old when their parents decided to come to America, forced to leave everything behind, including relatives.
"Really just left with the clothes on their backs, come in the US not speaking the language or anything. My dad had two or three jobs and did what he had to do to support us," said Fernando Oliva.
Their father was an accountant in Cuba and their mother worked as a teacher and classically trained pianist. They've since passed away, but the stories of their struggles for a better life still remain.
"My parents would send money to Cuba and they'd have to hide it. They'd send it in a pair of shoes," explained Fernando Oliva.
Now decades later, the brothers said that the news of the US and Cuba resuming relations is a good thing.
"I think it's a huge step in the right direction," Hector Oliva said.
"I'm very happy about it. I think it is well overdue. I think it's probably decades overdue," Fernando added.
The brothers are now 55 and 54. They still have a few precious keepsakes, like their mother's wedding ring she was able to go back and get before she passed away 10 years ago.
Now they also hope to be able to visit their birthplace and reunite with the relatives they left behind.
"In the end I think what everybody wants is freedom," said Hector.