South Florida Quiet After Castro Resigns

Exile leaders stress need for democracy on island nation
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2008 5:16 PM CST
South Florida Quiet After Castro Resigns
Passing motorists celebrate after it was reported, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008 in Miami's Little Havana, that Fidel Castro had resigned as president of Cuba. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)   (Associated Press)

Few South Florida Cubans bothered to celebrate Fidel Castro's retirement today, the Miami Herald reports. Exile leaders dismissed the power shift to Castro's brother Raul as politics as usual for the island nation. "Just because he has given up a title, doesn't mean he has given up power,'' lawmaker Mario Diaz-Balart said.

"When Cubans are not persecuted for thinking, when there is freedom of speech and real elections by the people of Cuba, that will be change," said radio host Perez Roura.
Still, about 100 people chanted slogans and waved flags in Miami's Little Havana under the eye of federal and Miami authorities. Neither reported the mass migration to Cuba that is expected if the island ever installs a democratic system. (Read more Fidel Castro stories.)

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