MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida is continuing to celebrate the death of Fidel Castro with the jubilation spanning several generations of Cuban people.
Large crowds gathered outside of Café Versailles in Little Havana over the weekend.
Raul Castro, brother and successor to Fidel, made the announcement that the former leader had passed away at the age of 90 on Cuban state television.
Cuban-Americans rejoiced at the prospect of a brighter future.
For people like Teresa Coan, leaving everything behind in Cuba about 50 years ago for an unknown land was frightening — but freedom awaited.
“I think it’s the best country in the world,” she said. “And I travel a lot. So I can compare and nothing compares to this. In this country, you can say whatever you want and you can do whatever you want. You can be whatever you want.”
Over in Westchester at La Carreta on Bird Road, the sights, sounds and hope are just like in Little Havana.
“I wouldn’t wanna pass up just spending this time with the family and bonding with everyone here, representing really what this all means, which is one step closer to freedom for the Cuban citizens in Cuba,” said David Rodriguez, a first generation Cuban-American.
His parents left Castro’s Cuba just after he took over. They came to the U.S. to build a better future for themselves and their family — first, and now second, generation Cuban-Americans who have yet to go to the small island nation, but plan to as soon as it’s free.
“I’ve never been there before,” said Sophie Rodriguez, a second generation Cuban-American, who wants to visit because she heard “it’s a wonderful place.”
Many share a similar sentiment.
“I wanna go one day and see where my parents came from,” said Rodriguez. “See their origin and everything the way it was.”
Raul Castro has already announced that he will retire in February of 2018.