Cuba

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

HAVANA - While Miami mostly celebrated Fidel Castro’s death, in Havana the mood is much more somber – nine days of duelo, or mourning. 

Tom Hudson

Fidel Castro may be dead, but his shadow lurks over the Cuban economy even as it absorbs -- oftentimes resists -- the biggest changes in its relationship with the U.S. in more than a half century. At the same time, a new American president-elect has promised to extract more freedoms and restitution from Cuba if the new economic engagement is to continue. The Sunshine Economy looks at this double challenge in the economic dealings between South Florida and the island.

 

 

North Florida Reacts To Fidel Castro's Death

Nov 28, 2016

Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro died Friday at the age of 90. That’s turned the spotlight on Florida’s Cuban population. Those in North Florida have a varied response.

Monroe County Public Library

While the election of Donald Trump and the death of Fidel Castro have brought new uncertainty to U.S.-Cuba relations, the city that's closest to Cuba is still aiming for closer ties.

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Enrique De La Osa/Reuters

President-elect Donald Trump has been weighing in on Castro's death via Twitter.

“Fidel Castro is dead!” he tweeted over the weekend. 

And then Monday he followed up with: "If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal."

Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

President-elect Donald Trump took it upon himself Monday to put political pressure on the Cuban government to deal with his incoming administration following Fidel Castro’s death.

“If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal,” Trump posted on Twitter, his preferred medium of communication in the weeks following his election.

Tim Padgett / WLRN

The first commercial flight from Miami to Havana in more than half a century left Miami International Airport at 7:30 on Monday morning.

American Airlines crew and executives cut a ceremonial red ribbon at Gate D30 before 125 passengers boarded flight 17 to Havana. Airline employees handed to all on board commemorative straw hats for the occasion.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

 

The centerpiece of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity - the Ermita, built with donations from thousands of Cuban exiles in honor of the island's Patroness, the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre or "Cachita"- is a floor-to-ceiling mural depicting centuries of Cuban history.  There are thinkers and freedom fighters, like Félix Varela and José Martí, and Christopher Columbus gazing out over an indigenous community. 

David Santiago / El Nuevo Herald

Fidel Castro's death will no doubt spark a robust debate about what Cuba would be like today if he had never come to power in 1959.

But here's another important question: What would Miami be today without Castro and the thousands of exiles his communist revolution drove to South Florida?

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Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

As their constituents took to the streets with pots and pans to celebrate Fidel Castro’s death, South Florida’s Cuban-American congressional delegation blasted the Obama administration for the brief diplomatic opening that preceded the dictator’s death.

“The largest financier of Castro right now, has become the Obama administration,” Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart told reporters at a Miami press conference. 

Lisann Ramos

Cuban exiles are celebrating loudly all over South Florida after hearing of Fidel Castro’s death. But the joy is more subdued at Ermita de la Caridad in Coconut Grove.  

For decades, the church has been a gathering place for Cuban exiles in Miami.

Today some churchgoers are here to ask for forgiveness, for rejoicing the death of the dictator.

The church’s rector Father Fernando Heria is prepared to offer it.

Courtesy of Yenesis Alfonso

Yenesis Alfonso felt empty when she found out Fidel Castro had died.

As hundreds of Cuban Americans took to the streets in Miami in pure jubilation banging pots and breaking out in dance, she placed pink flowers beside her father’s cremated remains.  

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

News of Fidel Castro’s death sent Cuban exiles old and young into the streets of Little Havana early this morning. Both generations recall Castro with a sense of betrayal - and his demise with a sense of hope.

80-year-old Ana Celia watched fellow Cuban exiles dance a conga line in front of the Versailles restaurant in Little Havana - some of them holding signs that read, "Go to Hell Fidel."

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In the Florida Keys, where ties to Cuba date back more than a century, news of Fidel Castro's death met a more muted response than on the mainland.

There were no spontaneous celebrations on the streets or even at Cuban restaurants. But of course the news was on everyone's minds Saturday morning.

Sonya Leto is a fifth-generation Conch, or Keys native. She was getting her Cuban coffee fix at El Mocho café on Stock Island. She said the news made her think of her late great-grandmother, who came from Cuba after Castro took power.

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