Fidel Castro is dead. Fidel’s younger brother Raul Castro made the official announcement in a televised statement,
“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 pm, died the chief commander of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.”
Castro’s reign in the Caribbean country has a long and sordid history. Fidel came to power in 1959 by overthrowing the military dictatorship of General Fulgencio Batista. Once in power, Castro became paranoid about the possibility of his own demise and overthrow. He quickly began jailing and executing political opponents.
When it came to Cuba’s economy, healthcare system and media, Castro embraced a Marxist, Leninist form of power and political ideology. Basically, the state, with Castro as the dictator, became the overlord to the Cuban people. As is the case throughout the world, Cubans had mixed feelings about such strict adherence to the supremacy of the state government.
Cubans protested the implementation of Castro’s communist control with their feet. To be more accurate, boatloads of them protested with their ability to navigate the 90 miles of salt water that separated them from America.
Miami, Florida took on hundreds of thousands of Cuban migrants in the years following Castro’s takeover. The first flow was comprised mostly of educated businessmen and professional Cubans, and occurred shortly after Castro took power. Subsequent waves of Cuban migration occurred due to Cuba’s poor economy and standards of living. This was a direct by-product of Castro’s implementation of communist policies.
With the announcement of Fidel’s passing the world seems to have mixed emotions. World leaders have been sharing their condolences with the Cuban people. Some have gone so far as to shower praise on Castro’s leadership abilities. The Cuban people seem torn, though. News reports indicate a number of Cubans viewed Fidel as a father figure. Other reports indicate that many Cubans, especially ones in Miami, Florida, are throwing parties in a outward sigh of relief that the communist leader is finally gone for good.