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Cuban Americans in Miami celebrate the death of Fidel Castro

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 26: Miami residents celebrate the death of Fidel Castro on November 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Cuba's current President and younger brother of Fidel, Raul Castro, announced in a brief TV appearance that Fidel Castro had died at 22:29 hours on November 25 aged 90. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Following the announcement from Cuban President Raul Castro late Friday night that his brother, longtime Cuban dictator Fidel Castro had died, Cuban Americans took to the streets of Miami to celebrate.

"Libertad! Libertad! Libertad!" they shouted, according to Politico, which in Spanish means "Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!"

The Cuban Americans lined Miami streets, mainly in and around Little Havana, in droves honking car horns, banging on pots and pans, triumphantly waving the Cuban flag, singing and cheering.

Many people also brought their shovels to the celebrations. When asked by a reporter with WTVJ-TV what the significance of the shovels were, one man said, "I'll dig the hole for [Fidel's grave]."

"He did a lot of damage to my family," the man added. "I'm so happy because of the fact that...he took everything away from my dad."

Miami is home to more than one million Cuban Americans.

Miami Republican and longtime critic of the Castro regime, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen took to Twitter late Friday to express her elation over Castro's death.

She added in a statement:

The day that the people, both inside the island and out, have waited for has arrived: A tyrant is dead and a new beginning can dawn on the last remaining communist bastion of the Western hemisphere. The message is now very clear to those who think they will continue to misrule Cuba through oppression and fear. Enough is enough. The Cuban people have been shortchanged for too long to continue down this reviled path.

Not until the gulags are closed, elections are held, political prisoners are freed and liberty is restored can the United States lawfully end its embargo against the communist regime in Havana. The time to act is now.

We must seize the moment and help write a new chapter in the history of Cuba; that of a Cuba that is free, democratic, and prosperous. A Cuba where faith in God has prevailed over tyranny, a Cuba whose people rose up to meet the challenges placed before them and overcame them through sheer patriotism and love of country.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who was brought to the U.S. at age six as the child of Cuban exiles, said he celebrated the death of Castro, but didn't expect major changes to be made in Cuba until the entire Castro family is gone.

"One Castro is gone," the 62-year-old mayor told WTVJ. "We need all Castros to be gone."

"Raul is still in power and the people of Cuba are still not free," he added in a different interview with WFOR-TV. "I am a Cuban American myself, can celebrate but and that’s tough for me to say as a Christian but really this person Fidel Castro, there’s a lot of blood on his hands, a lot of people have died and he has oppressed millions of people throughout more than 50 years so I can’t feel too sorry for him."

One last thing…
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