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Cubans in Miami don’t expect Castro’s decision to change much

MIAMI – Cuban Americans at Versailles in Little Havana said they didn’t expect Raul Castro’s announcement on Friday to make a difference on the single-party politics of the communist island.

Castro, 89, stepped down as the first secretary of the dictatorial party, a position he took in 2011. He went on to hand over the presidency to Miguel Díaz-Canel in 2018.

Raul Castro said that as long as he lives he will be ready to defend “the revolution and socialism.” He will be handing over Díaz-Canel, 60, the post as the first secretary of the party.

“This is a monolithic regime and it’s not going to change,” Jose Lopez said while standing near “La Ventanita” at Versailles.

Jose Lopez was among the Cuban Americans at Versailles on Friday who said that they don't expect Raul Castro's decision to step down as the leader of the communist party to translate into change for the Cuban people.

It is the end of an era. Once Diaz-Canel takes over, it will be the first time in more than six decades that a Castro is not officially at the helm in Cuba. Fidel Castro died in 2016.

In Miami’s Little Havana, Cuban American Raul Tejero wore his Vietnam Veteran baseball cap. He said the news didn’t give him much hope. The Castros set it all up.

“Nothing is going to happen over there,” Tejero said. “They have a structure ... the communist party is the one that rules over there.”

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About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.