WOODBURY - Thursday marked one year since the United States and Cuba opened up a diplomatic dialogue for the first time in more than 50 years.

In the past year, embassies have opened in Havana and Washington, D.C., and some U.S. businesses have inked deals in Cuba.

Baldwin's Margarita Grasing, who escaped right after the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961, says re-establishing ties with Cuba could help its people.

"But the United States has to remember that it is a dictatorship and human rights have been violated every single day," says Grasing.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R – Shirley) says he's concerned about the return of confiscated property in Cuba to U.S. citizens and companies. Zeldin says without solving those issues with the Cuban government, it's uncertain that Congress will end the embargo.

With the embargo in place, it's still illegal for Americans to vacation in Cuba, although some are allowed to visit under special conditions.

The State Department says the number of American travelers who visited Cuba is up 50 percent from a year ago.