On November 25th the Cuban government formally announced the death of Fidel Castro, the former president of Cuba, at the age of 90. The announcement quickly spread throughout the world with sadness and joy erupting in the streets. Fidel Castro was the ruthless dictator of Cuba since 1959 and the main reason for a flood of Cuban immigrants to the US. To many Cuban’s, he is the only leader they have know and viewed as a national hero or the worst thing to happen to Cuba. As the US continues its efforts to rebuild its relationship with Cuba, the death of Fidel Castro is a monumental moment for many who left Cuba to escape his dictatorship.
As his death is met with mixed reactions, many Cuban immigrants rejoice and find comfort in the news of Castro’s death. Gloria Estefan, who is a Cuban immigrant and came to the United States as a young girl, has stated for years she would never return to a communist Cuba under Castro’s power. She has also been one of the most well known and outspoken for the social justice of the Cuban people. Stefan summed it up best in her statement on instagram about the death of Castro:
“Although the death of a human being is rarely cause for celebration, it is the symbolic death of the destructive ideologies that he espoused that, I believe, is filling the Cuban exile community with renewed hope and a relief that has been long in coming. And although the grip of Castro’s regime will not loosen overnight, the demise of a leader that oversaw the annihilation of those with an opposing view, the indiscriminate jailing of innocents, the separation of families, the censure of his people’s freedom to speak, state sanctioned terrorism and the economic destruction of a once thriving & successful country, can only lead to positive change for the Cuban people and our world. May freedom continue to ring in the United States, my beautiful adopted country, and may the hope for freedom be inspired and renewed in the heart of every Cuban in my homeland and throughout the world.”
Read some of our favorite opinion pieces on Castro’s death, that highlight different prospects on the dictator and the future of Cuba.
Alfredo Estrada of LATINO Magazine writes a very personal piece on what the death of Castro means for Cuban Americans.
Christian Caballero wrote his take for HuffPost LatinoVoices as a son of Cuban immigrants.
Senior reporter Jorge Ramos highlights whats it means to cover a dictator loved or hated by many.
Co-hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela lead a discussion on what history will say about Castro with journalist Terrell Starr and Guillermo Grenier, Professor of Sociology at Florida International University.