Not everyone is celebrating President Obama's historic trip to Cuba

Kemberly Richardson Image
Monday, March 21, 2016
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UNION CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Each Sunday, you will find a small, but passionate group of activists on the corner of Bergenline Avenue and 42nd Street.

Their campaign called 'Todos Marchamos', or 'We all March' ties directly into a similar movement in their homeland of Cuba. On this particular Sunday, there is extra fire in their message as President Obama touched down in Cuba.

"I think President Obama is nave because he is thinking he can take the word of these people," says activist Liu Santiesteban.

Liu and her counterparts feel that President Obama is underestimating Cuban President Raul Castro and that following Obama's move to resume relations with Cuba in December of 2014, he essentially fell short, calling it a 'missed opportunity'.

"It was a spectacular moment to say 'I will lift the embargo for you', but we need some free elections in Cuba. We need to step forward with democracy," Liu adds.

This historic trip, including the exhibition baseball game and concert, they feel it's all plump and circumstance.

"I think Obama's visit is a betrayal of justice," say activist Matthew Perez.

Perez says the visit is a betrayal because so many have died and remain in jail in Cuba, fighting for democracy. While travel has begun to open up, and American companies are starting to drop anchor there, Ortiz says Obama has simply given a lifesaver to a system that was dying economically. As far as human right, that's where he feels the president has failed.

"If you have a building that is crumbling, you don't reinforce it, if it's crumbling and falling apart, you take it down, and build a proper structure," Ortiz adds.