Fidel Castro is dead.
In Miami — where Bay of Pigs veterans and exiles of the Cuban communist dictator’s oppression shaped the city’s cultural and political landscape and have remained a potent force in local politics — it is a day of rejoicing.
On Twitter, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera sounded like a kid on Christmas morning.
“Has it finally come? FIDEL IS DEAD!” posted Lopez-Cantera, who had relatives imprisoned by Castro.
The three Cuban-American members of Miami’s congressional delegation — Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo — posted tweets hailing Castro’s death as the closing of a chapter of tyranny.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, whose parents were born in Cuba and left before Castro came to power, noted that Fidel Castro’s younger brother remains in power in Cuba.
“The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not. And one thing is clear, history will not absolve Fidel Castro; it will remember him as an evil, murderous dictator who inflicted misery and suffering on his own people,” Rubio said.
Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson also weighed in: “Now that Fidel is gone, the U.S. should continue to press hard against his brother Raul and continue to take steps to support the Cuban people until he provides basic rights and freedoms to all the people of Cuba. In the meantime, the new Trump administration should continue the policy of opening travel and communication with Cuba.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he joins “Cuban-Americans and Floridians across the country who are incredibly hopeful for the future of Cuba. After decades of oppression, the Cuban people deserve freedom, peace and democracy. I have met so many Cubans who have come to Florida to flee the tyranny, brutality, and communism of the Castro brothers’ oppressive regime and now is the time to look at policy changes that will demand democracy in Cuba. Today’s news should usher in an era of freedom, peace and human dignity for everyone in Cuba and the State of Florida stands ready to assist in that mission. I spoke to President-elect Trump this morning to let him know that the State of Florida will help his administration in any way to support a pro-democracy movement in Cuba.”