SEATTLE -- Not everyone is ready to paint a rosy picture when it comes to renewed US - Cuba relations.

Images of President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro are drawing a mixed reaction from families who fled the communist regime years ago.

Isabel Espino, 54, was born in Cuba and left with her family when she was 18. Her father was a pharmaceutical salesman, and she was preparing to go to college when the Cuban government confronted the family about their Catholic beliefs. Practicing religion was forbidden under Castro's revolution.

Her father was forced to take a government job, and the family was no longer allowed to go to church.

"If you deny people freedom of speech, if you deny people freedom of religion, that's not OK," she said.

Espino still finds it difficult to talk negatively about the Cuban government, because she fears repercussion.

"It still scares me," she said. "It's not a 'touristy' destination for me."

Since her family fled the country, Espino has not returned.

Now that the U.S. is opening up with Cuba, and diplomatic relations are improving, she and many others are not yet ready to forgive the government that drove them away from her homeland.

"This all happened at a point where the Cuban government was floundering badly, which is what we were all been waiting for 50 some years," she said. "You can ask someone else for their side of the story. But this is my side."