I had the chance to be in Cuba on the day the government officially declared that the Cuban revolutionary leader died. You know the feeling when you wake up in the morning & feel that something is wrong? That’s exactly how I felt that day. Later, when I already knew the reason for this feeling, my curiosity was driving me crazy. I was a bit scared/shy to ask what is going on in the country now. Most importantly, how the people feel. In the end, the family where I lived helped me. When we started to talk about what I planned to do that day, they started to cry… I found out that most of people were sad even though they did not care much about politics or did not like Fidel. They were crying because their leader died. At same time the main reason was that they were scared of what will come next. For me, it was a bit hard to understand at the beginning. On the other hand, as they said, he was ruling the country for 60 years. So most of the population don’t know anything other than communism & Fidel Castro.
Later, when I was walking in the city, people were in groups discussing the new situation. Many houses displayed flags and posters with Fidel. National TV didn’t talk about anything else. TV and radio was constantly showing how “El Chefe” was a brave and good man. Especially how the revolution was important for Cuba. Later on, most of central Havana was closed for traffic and in streets around the country you could see more army and police than usual. Probably the strangest thing was how quiet the country became. No music or dance was permitted, no alcohol could be sold and no celebration was allowed.
How will Cuba change now? That is a good question. As one young guy told me, “Cubans will hardly go to the streets. The change would have to come from outside.” From my experience, Cubans are easy going, but one day everybody comes to the point when they have enough… Maybe in the coming months their time will come because in the whole country you could feel that no matter what kind of person Fidel, was he was the element who holds the country together. He was symbol of revolution. Now after 60 years he is gone. Or as with many authoritative regimes the system will be kept by power…
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