LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A brother and sister from Cuba were reunited Wednesday after 51 years.

Eduardo Rodriguez, 81, and his daughter, Martha Fjastad, nervously made their way to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport for the special family reunion.

“I’m so happy for my father. I’m so happy for my family. And just for this day, being finally here. We’ve been praying and hoping with so much faith. My aunt, on the other side of the world, 90 miles from Cuba, is just so close, yet so far away. For her to finally come today is just a miracle,” Fjastad said.

Rodriguez had been dreaming of seeing his sister, now 75, for many years.

The last time the siblings saw each other was in 1962—a dangerous time in communist-run Cuba. Rodriguez knew he had to escape with his wife and young daughter.

“My mother died. My father died. My youngest brother. They [killed] him … put [him] in a concentration camp and he turned crazy,” he said.

“We left with the clothes we had on,” Fjastad said.

Although the sacrifice Rodriguez made all those years ago paid off, his family’s story was not complete until Wednesday morning.

Rodriguez finally came face-to-face with his sister. They greeted each other with an emotional embrace.

“It’s so happy. It’s something that makes you feel so good,” Rodriguez said.

“She’s just overwhelmed with having us here … having such a welcome,” Fjastad added.

CBS2’s Kaj Goldberg reported that the family headed home to enjoy some warm Cuban food.


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