Cubans in Colorado React to News of Fidel Castro's Passing

CBS Denver

By: Andrea Flores

Cubans in Colorado are reacting to news of Fidel Castro’s passing.

News of the former leader of Cuba’s passing is being met with mixed feelings.

While some Cubans are mourning the loss, other are concerned about what it may mean for Cuba’s future.

Cuban-born Ledy Garcia Eckstein says news of Castro’s death marks the end of an era.

“It’s hard to know where this is going to go,” Garcia-Eckstein said.

The Cuban exile remembers Castro’s rise to power as a young girl.

“We were all so happy when Castro came to power, we really all were,” Garcia-Eckstein said. “But things started to get a little crazy after that.”

Her mother, an educator, was the last in her family to turn against the regime.

“She met Fidel when he came to talk to them about his plans in education, and they were awed and excited,” Garcia-Eckstein said.

She says that excitement quickly turned to fear.

“I have memories of people from the military, people from Castro regime, coming into my house, and searching everything,” said Garcia-Eckstein.

Her family fled the island when Ledy was just 11 years old.

Today, Ledy is actively involved in Engage Cuba, a coalition working to end travel and trade restrictions on the island.

“We believe that more engagement between Cuba and the U.S.,” Garcia-Eckstein. “It’s what’s going to bring about change.”

Now, Ledy says it’s time for decades of communist rule to come to an end.

Future relations between Cuba and the U.S. will soon be in the hands of President-Elect Donald Trump.

During his campaign, Trump threatened to roll back changes made by President Obama through executive order.