Cuba in 1991: Kelly Ring reflects on covering PanAm Games in poverty-stricken country

She may have anchored the news for three decades, but FOX 13’s Kelly Ring has also reported stories all over the globe. As she nears retirement, we’re revisiting some of her most important journalistic works. 

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In the 1990s, Cubans were trying to rebuild normalcy after the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis, but people living in the communist country were destitute and desperate to be in contact with loved ones in the United States – many in the Bay Area.

RELATED: White House moves to expand Cuba flights, loosen remittances

FOX 13 was able to obtain visas to cover the 1991 Pan American Games, however, Ring and her crew were also able to document the living conditions for Cubans.

"Really what we were doing was reporting on the poverty and how bad it was. We were a little bit worried there was security following us and they may have been, but we were still able to do our jobs," Ring told FOX 13’s Mark Wilson as they watched the coverage together. "We were only there for a couple of days." 

Many people in the Tampa Bay area had families in Cuba who they couldn't visit and making frequent phone calls was not an option. They were desperate to see how their loved ones were doing.

Ring was able to go into homes and meet with families living in unimaginable conditions.

"You knew their families at home were worried about them and there was nothing they could do about it," Ring reflected. "Bringing that video back home to their loved ones was really rewarding."