Local Cuban Americans react to Castro’s death, many cautiously optimistic

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Las Vegas is home to more than 20,000 Cubans, many who are conflicted by Fidel Castro’s death.

The longtime dictator of Cuba died Thursday at the age of 90.  His death has raised questions about the significance of his passing.

Local Cuban-Americans are cautiously optimistic after Castro’s death, especially since Cuba’s still being governed by the Communist Party. 
However, Cuba’s leader right now, Fidel Castro’s brother Raul Castro has been trying to mend diplomatic relations with the United States government.

Yasmany Garcia says Castro’s death is symbolic.  The 28-year-old Cuban says he does not wish death upon another human being, but he says the longtime dictator caused a lot of pain and suffering.

“Es un ser humano que era, fue muy malo,” Garcia said.  Translated from Spanish to English, Garcia said Castro was a “bad human being.”

Like many other Cubans, Garcia says he does not believe Castro’s death will bring change to the island nation.

“In Cuba, everything continues to be the same,” he said.

“In terms of the pace of current economic reforms and for a political opening I actually tend to think that it’s probably not going to have that much of an effect,” said John Tuman, Political Science Professor at UNLV.

Tuman believes Cuba will continue to normalize diplomatic relations with the U.S. even after Castro’s death.

Tuman says what he doesn’t know is how the negotiations will proceed under a Trump administration.  In a tweet Monday morning, the President-elect said, “If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban-American people, and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate the deal.”

“I would caution about generalizing what his policies might be simply off the basis of some tweets and also some things he may have said on the campaign trail when he was trying to win the election,” Tuman said.

According to Tuman, it’s unlikely for the communist government to collapse, but many Cuban Americans are holding on to hope.

Garcia says he thinks something will change in the future.

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