Brother and Sister Reunite After 51 Years

The two had not seen each other since being separated in Cuba in 1962

By John Cádiz Klemack
|  Thursday, Nov 21, 2013  |  Updated 5:55 PM PDT
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An emotional reunion captivated onlookers at LAX when a brother and sister originally from Cuba meet each other again after more than 50 years apart. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013.

An emotional reunion captivated onlookers at LAX when a brother and sister originally from Cuba meet each other again after more than 50 years apart. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013.

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Only memories captured the innocence a brother left in his younger sister in Cuba more than 50 years ago.

Eduardo Rodriguez, a now-81-year-old immigrant from Cuba, left for America, his parents and sister behind, in 1962.

“That was tough for me,” he said. “I tried myself to make it easy.”

Rodriguez recalls a time decades ago when politics split families and children were forced to leave their families with no guarantees of seeing them again. He still made the promise to his sister of time together in the future.

“I said, ‘Hey, it’s not time to cry, I’ll see you soon,’” Rodriguez said. Isabel had to stay behind in Cuba to take care of their parents.

Now, 51 years later, Eduardo anticipates the moment he will be able to hug Isabel, his 75-year-old sister.

The brother and sister who had not seen each other in five decades finally met for a tearful embrace in an emotional reunion at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday.

“I know the crying is coming,” he said. “This is a feeling you get in your chest ... This is my youngest sister.”

Finally, Isabel walked off the plane and into the airport to greet her brother as he patiently awaited her arrival.

“No time for sadness,” Isabel said to a tearful Eduardo. “Here we are, alive, lucky and happy.”

Isabel plans to return to Cuba in January.

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