Castro dead, Tampa Bay reaction subdued by hopeful

FILE - In this April 19, 2016 file photo, Fidel Castro attends the last day of the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba. Fidel Castro formally stepped down in 2008 after suffering gastrointestinal ailments and public appearances have been increasingly unusual in recent years. Cuban President Raul Castro has announced the death of his brother Fidel Castro at age 90 on Cuban state media on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — They celebrated Fidel Castro’s death in Miami.  Some here in Tampa wondered about Havana.

“They might be celebrating down there too, who knows?” said Phillip Falcon.

As Phillip carried his café con leche to his car from La Teresita restaurant early Saturday morning , he had not yet heard that Castro died.

“It should be better for the country and for us,  maybe get a better relationship going, people won’t be so scared down there,” he added.

Some are not sure into which category Castro fits.  Was he a visionary revolutionary or brutal communist dictator?

Juan Guzman of Tampa is just hoping for better relations between the U.S. And Cuba.

“It has been too long for the Cuban community and the United States to try to approach.  That’s more better to reach an approach and not to be fighting for nothing,” said Guzman.

“The relations started to improve but I hope it eventually even more so,” stated Chap Celerin.

“There is a rich and long history between Cuba and Tampa Bay, witness the cigar factories, so many buildings around town.  And many of the people who worked in those cigar factories are buried at Marti-Colon, an old Cuban cemetery.

To Alberto Padrone,  Castro’s death may delay a trip he is planning to retrace his family roots.

“My mother was looking for an address so I can go see where my dad was raised and my grandfather had his barber shop and where all my family grew up at,” Alberto added.

Alberto doesn’t plan on going anywhere before he determines if such a trip is safe or not.

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