MENU

Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

Back to Article
Back to Article

Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

The Charger Bulletin

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Destruction, pain, separation of families, and a country that was once thriving crumbled down physically, politically, and emotionally because of one man named Fidel Castro.
On November 25, 2016 at around 10:29 p.m. it was announced that Castro had passed away.
In Cuba there are nine days of mourning for the fallen dictator, but in Miami, Florida it is quite the opposite. Celebrations and gatherings are happening around all the major Cuban hotspots in Miami because of the person who ruined the lives of so many people. From that Friday to even now, Cuban exiles and families have lined the streets of Kendall, Hialeah, and Little Havana.
Coming from Cuban heritages ourselves, my friends and I drove to 8th street, which is in Little Havana, to participate in this celebration. You knew you were close because as you approached the street you were stuck in a line of cars honking their horns, playing Spanish music, banging pots and pans, and raising the Cuban flag proudly out the window. The sounds that filled the air were an uproar of excitement to us all.
When we finally found a place to park, we walked to a section of 8th street that was blocked off by police cars for everyone to gather at. It is called Calle Ocho and is a major place where many social events happen and some of the best Cuban food is made. Little Havana is actually the best known neighborhood for Cuban exiles in the world.
That night, I have never been so proud to be Cuban because every step taken closer into the masses was another memory, another exile, another life being reborn and remembered in the face of liberated Cubans coming together. News stations flocked the site, Cuban and American Flags swayed all around, cries of happiness and chanting “viva Cuba Castro no!” were filling the atmosphere. It was the celebration of an end to an era of communism that was culminated by homemade instruments of pots and pans and fireworks.


In the midst of it all it also began to rain, as if the rebirth of a country was starting in the streets that night and hope was raining down on us all. As the night went on singing, dancing, and chanting continued. At around 2:48 a.m. a band of bongos and drums streamed in from the empty streets and roars came in from the other side of the street as they were spotted. The crowds gravitated towards the sound of freedom ringing in the hearts of so many individuals that have been affected by the mass destruction that Castro had caused.
Cubans know that Raul Castro, the brother of Fidel, who is now in power is cut from the same cloth, but that is not the reason for the celebration. We all know not much will change, but it’s the symbol of Fidel’s death that gives us a sense of liberation and freedom because the one person that affected so many people can’t hurt them anymore.
I believe Gloria Estefan, an icon in the Latin world, put it in perfect words saying, “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 and successful country, can only lead to positive change for the Cuban people and our world.”
Every person that was there had a story to tell, which is part of the beauty of it all. Looking around, you may not have known the majority of people there but it didn’t matter because everyone had shared a common ground, and that was enough.
Many people were there because they lived through the pain themselves when coming over here as children but also there were many people that came for their grandparents who didn’t live to see the day marked in history. Many of our grandparents from Cuban descent in Florida came here fleeing the country of a place they called home, leaving everything and everyone they knew for the chance for a better life. Think about leaving your home forever to go to a foreign place where you have never been and you could never go back home because you would be imprisoned, this was a choice so many Cubans had to make.
There are many reasons as to why Castro’s death means so much to people and I for one cannot blame them for feeling this way because my family has been effected by him in a big way themselves. My great grandfather for one lost everything he had because of him and ended up being imprisoned and almost killed multiple times because of him, but luckily enough he was able to escape it.
I felt, witnessing it all, that I was a part of history being made. It was beautiful to see so many people feeling so overjoyed because all the pain they and their families went through was finally over in a sense. It was heartwarming to see and be a part of and it made me truly see how much we have here in America. A land where, although it is going through a time of struggle, we still have freedom and democracy.
Hopefully from all the celebrations going on this will go back to Raul Castro and he will want to be a different kind of leader, one that will do more for his people and a person people will mourn for instead of wanting to dance over his grave.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

    U.S. News

    Looking Into Midterm Results

  • Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

    This Week's Top Stories

    University Reflects on California Shooting

  • Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

    Global News

    Know Your Ballot

  • Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

    Campus News and Events

    Developers Submit Site Plan for West Haven Outlet Mall

  • Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

    Campus News and Events

    Despite Potential State Weed Law, No Change in School Policy

  • Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

    Campus News and Events

    Conn. Residents Call for Change in March for Our Lives

  • Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

    Campus News and Events

    A Look Ahead at March for Our Lives in CT

  • Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

    Entertainment

    Valuable Picasso Print Worth $50,000 Stolen

  • Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

    Campus News and Events

    Haitian Students React to Trump’s Comments & Policies

  • Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died

    Politics

    UNH Experts Give Context to Government Shutdown

Navigate Right

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Being Cuban in Miami After Fidel Castro Died