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Miami's joyous Cubans hope for change with Castro's death

Jamaica Gleaner / MIAMI (AP):

Wearing his ‘Bay of Pigs Veteran’ shirt, 80-year-old Rafael Torre stood amid hundreds of Cuban-Americans celebrating the death of Fidel Castro and marvelled that he remained in power for so long.

Cuban exiles such as Torre tried numerous ways to dislodge Castro after he took control in 1959, including the failed 1961 CIA-backed invasion memorialised on his shirt. Now, like many others, Torre is hopeful for Cuba’s future with the bearded revolutionary leader finally gone.

“We tried for more than 50 years but couldn’t do it. Now he’s dead, and maybe things can change,” Torre said. “It might take three or four years. Maybe the revolution will be on the streets in three or four months.”

Thousands of people took to the streets of Miami and nearby cities Saturday shortly after the early morning announcement of Castro’s death at age 90, and kept the party going all day. They banged pots with spoons, honked car horns, waved Cuban and U.S. flags in the air and whooped in jubilation on Calle Ocho – as Little Havana’s 8th Street is universally known.

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