By Robyn Forbes
Former Cuban leader Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born 90 years ago and died five days ago on November 25, 2016. The news broke in the United States early on Saturday morning and brought many Cuban-Americans a sense of freedom and long overdue justice.
Hearing that their once oppressor was dead prompted Cuban-Americans to celebrate in the streets of Miami as they relished the long awaited news. One walking amidst the crowds could hear the clanking of pots and pans and see Cuban flags waving in the air.
It was not all celebrations, however, Since hearing the news of Castro’s death, many have expressed regret in the fact that loved ones who had awaited the monumental day were not alive to experience the feelings it brought.
“I owe this to my dad— this going out and celebrating,” said Isabel De Lara, who went out to Eighth Street to celebrate and whose father died before Castro.
Others reserved a bottle of whiskey for the day they learned of Castro’s death. As of now, some of those bottles have been emptied over the graves of loved ones.
Several world leaders joined the world in reacting to the news through statements and on social media.
“For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements,” said President Obama. “The Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “India mourns the loss of a great friend.”
“Free and independent Cuba, which he (Fidel Castro) and his allies built….. became an inspiring example for many countries and nations,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telegram to Raul Castro, according to the Associate Press.
The isle of Cuba is now under a nine-day period of mourning issued by the Cuban Council of State and there are still many feelings regarding Castro amongst the people of Cuba, but this marks the first step on the long road the Republic of Cuba must travel.