By Diana Rocco

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The American flag now flies over the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. Nationally it has been met with skepticism over Cuba’s communist regime.

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“I believe the people of Cuba deserve what everyone else in the Western Hemisphere has, democracy,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

But here in Philadelphia the move has offered hope to those with loved ones in the country like Angel Roque, chef at Cuba Libre where everything reminds him of home.

“I smell the food and I see the dishes and the names on the menu, the dishes of my country,” said Roque.

He left Cuba six months ago for work. Without internet service in Cuba, contact home has been limited, but he’s hopefully that will soon change.

“We have been waiting for this day for a lot of time,” said Roque. “They are very happy, they have great expectation for the future.”

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Cuban American and Philadelphia’s Deputy Mayor Richard Negrin says this means a better life for Cuba’s people.

“My family was personally impacted. Not only did they have to give up their belongings, most came to this country with nothing but a suitcase,” said Negrin.

While the Cuban American population in Philadelphia is relatively small, there is one more flag ceremony that many would like to see, on the on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway where the Cuban flag is noticeably missing.

“One of the final things that I might get to do as Deputy Mayor and Managing Director is put the Cuban flag up on the Parkway,” said Negrin.

“Hopefully the people of Cuba can see a different world,” said Roque.

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