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Lansing Cubans React to Castro's Death

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Posted at 7:46 AM, Nov 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-27 07:46:46-05

"There's just the raw emotions that wants to break out a bottle of 18-year-old scotch and smoke a cigar and say ding-dong the witch is dead," Norbert Fernandez, a Cuban Native said.

He fled to Lansing as part of project Peter Pan back in the 60's.

"You know, should you be happy when someone dies?" Norbert said. "There's a lot of conflicting feelings. I will definitely not cry for the man."

And Fidel doesn't deserve any tears. Miguel Eyia fled only a few years after Castro rose to power. But he still remembers what it was like.

"I think i was 11 or 12 at the time," Miguel said. "We were out playing ball at the park. Well a couple militia guys came back and they stopped the game. And they put us all in single file. And we had to march. Learn how to march. Couldn't play baseball anymore. You had to march."

Just imagine being a kid and your country won't even let you play ball. Then imagine having to flee that country and your family.

"You grew up a lot when you leave your family at the age of 12-13 and you have to be on your own in a foreign country with a different language and everything," Miguel said.

Miguel and Norbert are happy that this chapter of their lives is over, but they're skeptical that Fidel's death will cause change for Cuba.

"His death is not going to change anything," Norbert said. "All the pain and suffering on the Cuban people for 50-something years."

"There's going to be a lot of work to bring the island back to what it could be," Miguel said. "What it could've been."

But there is hope that Cuba can be restored.