By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
Yes, there was flag-waving and horn-honking in front of the Cuban café on Calle Ocho in Little Havana which might more aptly be called Little Bogotá these days and local television stations cut off regular prime-time programming to flash coverage of the small-scale celebration and inform all of South Florida that Fidel was sick. Thanks for that news flash.
Some folks in Miami are still gearing up for what they expect to be a massive outpouring of emotions the day el comandante leaves this Earth.
Sánchez, of Democracia, expects many in his 26,000-strong network to participate in a civil rights demonstration in Little Havana. The march is aimed at creating an environment for exiles to channel their energy in "a constructive, solemn manner."
In an effort to put a positive slant on the inevitable community reaction, Democracia has drafted a list of suggested slogans for people to brandish. One states, in Spanish: "Cuba had one bad son, but there have always been more good ones."
"OK, so there will be this big party and the next day, what?" asks Domingo Amuchastegui, a former Cuban intelligence officer who defected in 1994. "Cuba will be the same. You're going to celebrate the death of one person?"
If insiders like Amuchastegui are right, Fidel's long-awaited demise will be seriously anticlimactic. He'll die, a very rich old man, in his own bed. Leaders across much of Latin America especially Fidel's buddy Chávez in Venezuela will make some poignant comments. The funeral procession could outdo that of Princess Diana of Wales, and then the media hordes will have lost another colorful character to cover. Florida politicians will have to find a new monster to galvanize voters.
And the already diluted exile community will have to find other talking points for its cause.