Around 50 years ago, Gloria Estefan fled Cuba with her family when Fidel Castro took power. She arrived in the United States as a toddler and she has been vocal in her opposition of the Castro regime’s human rights abuses and policies.
When news of the former leader broke, hundreds of Miami residents took to the streets of Little Havana calling “Freedom!” and “The tyrant has died”. Among them was Estefan, who highlighted the end of an era on social media.
Estefan wrote a long message in both English and Spanish:
Although the death of a human being is rarely cause for celebration, it is the symbolic death of the destructive ideologies that he espoused that, I believe, is filling the Cuban exile community with renewed hope and a relief that has been long in coming. And although the grip of Castro’s regime will not loosen overnight, the demise of a leader that oversaw the annihilation of those with an opposing view, the indiscriminate jailing of innocents, the separation of families, the censure of his people’s freedom to speak, state sanctioned terrorism and the economic destruction of a once thriving and successful country, can only lead to positive change for the Cuban people and our world. May freedom continue to ring in the United States, my beautiful adopted country and may the hope for freedom be inspired and renewed in the heart of every Cuban in my homeland and throughout the world.
The ‘Conga’ singer told the Huffington Post earlier this year that while there had been political changes, most of them had occurred in the US and not on the Caribbean island.
“They continue to abuse huamdn rights,” she said at the time. “I’m still looking forward to the day where there’s actual political change in Cuba.”