Fidel Castro

Sebastian Ballestas / Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

President Trump's speech in Little Havana last Friday wasn’t about remaking America’s Cuba policy. It was about reliving the Cuban-American past.

It was an exile Woodstock reunion, a nostalgic return to a time when Miami Cubans (and their impressive voter turnout) convinced Washington to isolate communist Cuba. Back to the years when they tightened the economic and diplomatic screws until the head slots stripped – certain it would drive the Castro dictatorship from their mother island.

JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES

This week on The Florida Roundup...

2016 was a big year. It played host to a long contentious and historic election with Donald Trump winning the presidency--with a big hand from Florida. 

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

HAVANA – In a eulogy last week in Havana for his brother Fidel Castro, Cuban President Raúl Castro often saluted los jóvenes – young people. But it couldn’t hide the fact that communist Cuba is still run by much older people. Like Raúl, who’s 85.

The ashes of Fidel Castro, the iconic revolutionary leader who died late last month, were interred in a private ceremony Sunday bringing an end to nine days of mourning in Cuba for a man who was the political face of the island nation for nearly half a century.

The ceremony took place at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery, located in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, known as the site that launched the Cuban Revolution. Castro's remains join those of other prominent Cuban figures.

Will Grant of the BBC tells NPR's Newscast:

Katie Lepri / WLRN

This week on The Florida Roundup...

News of the death of Fidel Castro set in motion celebrations in the streets on Miami, but it also gave rise to complex emotions across generations for Cuban-Americans and others in South Florida. We look at the reactions, as well as how South Florida media prepared for years to cover this story. 

As his ashes make his way from Havana to Santiago, we speak with WLRN's Americas correspondent Tim Padgett about reactions to Fidel's death in the island. 

Associated Press

MATANZAS – A caravan carrying Fidel Castro’s ashes is moving across Cuba from Havana to Santiago on the island’s eastern tip – marking a funereal return to where the Cuban Revolution was born.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

The crowd filled two city blocks near a memorial dedicated to soldiers who died in the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961.

They danced to a Celia Cruz cover of “I will survive” and chanted "libertad, libertad, libertad." 

For many in Miami's Cuban-American exile community, the pain of Fidel Castro's rule, and the joy of his death, are deeply personal. Less than a week after the reviled and revered Cuban revolutionary passed, Little Havana continued to celebrate life after Fidel with a rally on Calle Ocho. 

At the Give Good Works Thrift Store in Wynwood, a wall facing North Miami Avenue turned for two days into a canvas for people to write or paint their thoughts about Fidel Castro.

Large black letters read, “Fidel, may you rot in hell.”

In a sign posted outside, the store encouraged passers-by to stop and write on the wall. "Ask for a marker inside," it said. 

Someone wrote, "Viva Cuba Libre," and another "Praying for a free Cuba."

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

HAVANA - Hundreds of thousands of Cubans filled Havana’s Revolution Square Tuesday night to bid farewell to Fidel Castro, who died Friday. We can’t know how many of them will actually miss the communist leader. But some of the mourners are not who you’d expect.

You can count on Cuban artist Tania Bruguera to stir things up when she heads back to Cuba in the coming weeks. 

Bruguera is imagining a new future, even as her homeland officially mourns the death of revolutionary icon Fidel Castro.

"We need somebody in power that is able to create an image of the country that attracts the people who've thought (Cuba) was a failed project," she says. "Right now, though, I think the most important thing is that everybody has the right to feel what they feel, and the lesson is to know how to accept everybody's feelings without judging."

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

HAVANA - When the first commercial flight between the U.S. and Cuba in more than half a century touched down in Santa Clara in August, the JetBlue plane from Fort Lauderdale was met with cheers and water-cannon salutes.

When the first commercial flight between Miami and Havana in more than half a century landed at José Martí International Airport Monday morning, the American Airlines 737 taxied quietly to the terminal and unloaded 125 passengers wearing complimentary straw fedoras.

No confetti. No music. And it felt remarkably fitting.

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.

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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."

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