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Cubans React To Fidel Castro's Death

| by Brendan Kelly

Cuba's longtime leader Fidel Castro has died at the age of 90, and news of his death has prompted mixed reactions from Cubans.

Castro's brother and Cuban president Raul Castro announced his brother's death in a televised statement on Nov. 25, according to CNN.

"I say to the people of Cuba, with profound pain I come here to inform our people, our friends of America and the world, that today, 25 November, 2016, at 10:29 p.m., died the chief commander of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz," Raul said in the statement.

Raul also said his brother will be cremated, as per his wishes.

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Shortly after news broke of the former president's death, thousands of people celebrating with Cuban flags in the air, banging on pots and pans flooded the streets of Miami's Cuban neighborhood of Little Havana. People honked car horns and played salsa music, while fireworks blazed in the air.

Chants of phrases such as, "Cuba si! Castro no!" and "Cuba libre!" were heard in the streets repeatedly throughout the night, according to CBS News.

"We're celebrating the end of a man who separated so many families throughout the years," one woman said. "A man who killed many, who imprisoned many individuals just for thinking differently and not believing in his revolution, like my father, who was a political prisoner in Cuba."

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In Cuba, reactions were a bit more mixed.

"The Cuban people are feeling sad because of the loss of our commander in chief Fidel Castro Ruz, and we wish him, wherever he is, that he is blessed, and us Cubans love him," a young, Cuban woman told CNN.

"For us, he was like a father," Castro's nephew Angel Daniel Castro said on Nov. 26. "And Cuba sees him as a father. One woman just called crying and saying she had lost her father. Everyone feels it."

During Fidel Castro's decades-long reign, many Cubans fled to the U.S., taking up residence in Florida cities like Miami and Tampa and states like New Jersey. Many felt their freedoms would be restricted under Castro's communist regime and left the island. 

Sources: CNNCBS News / Photo Credit: Roberto Di Fede/Flickr

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