Cuban family feels the divide of distance, politics

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A family split between North Carolina and Cuba also has a political divide.

The Leyva family in Havana is a family divided and it tugs at their hearts. Ani is in Cuba, while her son Javier is living a new life in Wake County.

"It's very hard, he's been gone for five years and it's hard to have him away and I miss him very much," Leyva said.

Javier is working and going to college in Raleigh and says he left Cuba for better opportunities.



"There is always a place my mom has in my heart," Javier Leyva said.

He helps his mom and sister by sending them money.



Javier works for Jorge Goti at MG Capital Maintenance in Morrisville.

Goti worked as a janitor when he arrived from Cuba in 1989. Now he owns the Triangle's largest janitorial company. This week, he's focused on Cuba's future, after the death of Fidel Castro.

"We are happy, not because of Castro's passing, it's because we are much more hopeful that by Castro passing, things will change," Goti said

READ MORE: TOURISTS FROM NORTH CAROLINA FIND A STRANGELY SILENT CUBA

Across Cuba this week, people are being asked to sign a pledge, reaffirming their commitment to Castro's socialism and they're packing memorial services.

Javier's little sister is among them.

"There was a lot of love among mourners, because Castro led the Cuban revolution, so Cuba could be free," Talia Leyva said.

But the view from Cary is quite different.

"We went from being very happy to now kind of like, 'nothing's changing, nothing's going to change' and we are hoping it is going to change. That's the hope," Goti said.

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