Cuban-Americans in Orlando celebrate death of Fidel Castro

There was a lot of emotion at the Old Cuban Café Express in Orlando Saturday morning as Cuban-Americans came together after learning of Fidel Castro’s death.

“It’s terrible to feel happy about a life leaving, but this man was so terrible and so bad, such a terrible dictator that, unfortunately, the Cuban people are happy and relieved,” said Alina Ruiz, who was born in Cuba.

The restaurant on Goldenrod Road opened its doors before the sun came up.

“We’re just preparing. We’re just hopefully bringing all Cubans out to the restaurant so they can celebrate with us and enjoy this moment that it is,” said Grecia Perez, whose parents own the café.

This moment is one of hope for a lot of people, especially Carlos Rodriguez who just visited his parents’ home-country a few weeks ago.

“They feel still oppressed by the government and they ask a lot of questions about how we live here,” Rodriguez said.

He says Castro’s passing could bring change.

“Everything that we have here – I wish the same for them,” he said.

Others say this opens the door for better relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Ruiz, who was born in Cuba, says she’s been too scared to go back until now.

“Now I feel like we can go spend a vacation over there and show my child where her mother came from, originally, and enjoy the beautiful beaches and the beauty that the island has because it is a beautiful island,” Ruiz said.