Castro converted Cuba into a one-party socialist state under Communist Party rule, the first in the Western Hemisphere. Reforms introducing central economic planning and expanding healthcare and education were accompanied by state control of the press and the suppression of internal dissent.

Castro seized land and nationalized sugar mills, ranches and oil refineries owned by U.S. interests. His government imprisoned or killed political opponents, declared the country atheist and closed 400 Catholic schools.

Castro was decorated with various international awards, and was lauded as a champion of socialism, anti-imperialism, and humanitarianism, whose revolutionary regime secured Cuba’s independence from American imperialism. In Latin America, Castro was inspirational for Communist leaders like Hugo Chavez, Venezuela and Evo Morales, Bolivia, two more examples of tyrannical countries.  Others view him as a totalitarian dictator whose administration oversaw multiple human-rights abuses, an exodus of more than one million Cubans, and the impoverishment of the country’s economy.

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado deployed himself to the Versailles Cuban restaurant, the iconic exile hangout, after midnight and was there when the sun came up, chatting up the crowds and conducting interviews in what has become the unofficial media staging ground for capturing Miami’s reaction to major Cuban news.

The Cuban-born mayor, whose father served 14 years in prison under Castro, knows first hand what Communism does to a nation. 

“Cuban-Americans fill the streets to cheer Fidel Castro’s death” by Associated Press. The mood was festive, with periodic outbursts of anger at Raúl Castro. “I feel the worst for the people still living in Cuba,” said 80-year-old Elisa Martin, who fled Cuba in 1962, leaving behind her father and cousins.
“He’s done so many bad things.” After his revolutionary takeover of the Cubam government Castro seized land, nationalized sugar mills, ranches and oil refineries owned by U.S. interests. His government imprisoned or murdered political opponents, declared the country atheist and closed 400 Catholic schools.

Senator Ted Cruz whose father was born in Cuba said: “Fidel Castro’s death cannot bring back his thousands of victims, nor can it bring comfort to their families. Today we remember them and honor the brave souls who fought the lonely fight against the brutal Communist dictatorship he imposed on Cuba.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrinch, a staunch Trump supporter, called praise of Castro “tragic.” “He was a relentless dictator who imprisoned thousands, killed and tortured many Cubans. Castro’s policies impoverished the Cuban people. Look at the (old) cars in pictures. A dictatorship that drove out hundreds of thousands of Cubans.”
Florida Senator Marco Rubio reminded people the Castro regime is still in place. Both of Rubio’s parents fled the Castro regime.

Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of murder of opponents. He should be buried in an unmarked place and his memory erased from the book of time.

On Capitol Hill, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican representing a district in southern Florida, took to Facebook, saying: “Today, a tyrant is dead. Although his totalitarian dictatorship deeply scarred a once prosperous nation, his death ushers in a renewed hope that the Cuban people finally will be free.”

On the opposite side, Canadian Prime Minster Trudeau said: “I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honor to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.” Trudeau should be ashamed he met Castro.

“One down, now comes the other,” yelled Enrique Rodriguez, 58, to cheers. “He can go to hell just like his brother.”

Donald Trump is sparing no words when it comes to Fidel Castro. The U.S. president-elect calls the former Cuban leader “a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.”

Trump says Castro leaves a legacy of: “firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”

But Trump also is looking ahead.

He says that while Cuba “remains a totalitarian island,” he hopes Castro’s death “marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.”

Trump says his administration will do all it can “to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty,” and he says he’s joining many Cuban-Americans in the hope “of one day seeing a free Cuba.”

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