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Little Havana celebrates Fidel Castro's death

Thousands fill streets to mark Castro's death

LITTLE HAVANA. Fla. – It may be called Little Havana, but unlike  Cuba’s capital city, there wasn't anyone mourning the death of  Cuban dictator Fidel Castro over the weekend.

Southwest Eighth Street – known as Calle Oche – became the setting of a block party that began when the Castro’s death was announced early Saturday morning.

"I called my mom and said listen 'Mami, Fidel is dead,' and she said ‘I can't believe it, I can't believe it,'" Ofelia Madrugas, a first generation Cuban-American, said.

Vivian Bango-Sanchez, a Cuban exile, got into a car and drove to Calle Oche to celebrate with others.

The Cuban flag flew on the sidewalks near Versailles Cuban Café.

Danny Hernandez sold flags for $5 each.

Versailles has become the de facto headquarters for the Cuban exile community. The sounds of salsa music and songs by famous Cuban artists filled the air throughout the day.

The familiar clang of pots and pans were also heard.

"It's a nonviolent way for us to protest exactly what's been happening on the island for so many years and what is hopefully a great shift that is coming," Betania de la Rosa, a Cuban exile, said.

For others, Castro’s death brings a sweet release and hope that Cuban liberation isn’t too far away.

"My parents had a hard (life)  in Cuba, and now we're celebrating," Yned Molloy said. 


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