BRIDGEPORT - Cuban-Americans in Bridgeport have mixed reactions to the raising of the American flag in their native country Friday.

Many gathered at the Bridgeport Cuban Lyceum on Fairfield Avenue to watch the flag go up at the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba on TV.

Raul Lafitte says he left Cuba when he was 15 and plans to return there soon for the first time.

As the owner of Harborview Market in Black Rock, City Councilman Enrique Torres says he appreciates the importance of promoting trade. But Torres says his experiences in Cuba as a child were so negative that it's hard to get excited about a flag raising that he says promotes the legitimacy of the Cuban government.

"Fidel Castro and his brother and probably the next 10 people in line are the worst sorts of human beings that we have on the planet," Torres says.

But he says there will be a positive result of the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba.

"We'll be able to trade with Cuba, and that's fine," he says. "It's good for the people there. It's good for American companies."

On the other hand, Mayor Bill Finch says the flag raising represents a historic step forward.

Members of the Bridgeport Cuban Lyceum say they will be meeting Friday evening to talk about the events that took place in Havana and what they will mean to people in Bridgeport.