Local Cubans react to death of Fidel Castro

Emotional day for Cubans in Tampa Bay

TAMPA -- Tampa has a robust Cuban population and the waves of excitement could be heard following the death of Fidel Castro.

We stopped by Ybor to get a feel for the pulse of the Cuban community with the news spreading. It's real, this time Castro's death is not a false alarm. 

At Tabanero Cigars, we spoke to Cuba native, Teresa, a passionate person who moved here more than ten years ago when she was 48-years-old.

Reporter: What's your reaction to him dying?

Teresa: Okay, I'm very happy. Not because a person died, I'm happy because it's one less dictator in Cuba. In life, everybody has to die one day and this is his day. People are happy because he was a bad guy.

Reporter: What do you think the reaction is like in Cuba?

Teresa: In Cuba, I don't know because people are so afraid.

Reporter: Are you glad that the United States has lifted the embargo on Cuba?

Teresa: No, I don't want to take nothing. The embargo has to continue because everything that the United States does for Cuba, the people is not the beneficiary, it's the government.

We also talked to Yolaine Leon, a Cuban who works for Tabanero.

Reporter: Do you think it'll be good for Cuba?

Yolaine: I hope. They deserve it, trust me. So many years, they deserve it.

Yolaine didn't grow up in Cuba, but translated for us as we spoke to William Ochoa, who did. He’s one of the cigar rollers at Tabanero.

Reporter: What's your reaction, how do you feel about everything today?

William: Happy.

Castro's death mostly seems symbolic at this point. He handed over power to his brother years ago. But, it still gives many from the Cuban nation a sense of a new beginning.

(© 2017 WTSP)


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