Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

News of Castro's death spreads at Miami cemetery

MIAMI — Gina Fuster stepped away from the honking cars, the crowds, the Cuban flags on Miami's Eighth Street and passed through a pair of iron gates three blocks away.

With a bouquet of purple and yellow daisies, she walked along the curving road inside Little Havana's Woodlawn Park North Cemetery and stepped gingerly around the tombstones until she found her father's name: Dr. Jose R. Rodriguez Alvarez.

Fuster was among several families that, a day after news of Fidel Castro's death exploded in Miami, visited the graves of relatives who fled Cuba decades ago and began new lives here. Many clung to the hope they would live to see Cuba free of Castro someday.

"My father was one of those Cubans that came in the 1960s and said he would be gone in a week," Fuster said. "The week never ended."

She placed the flowers in a vase near his grave. She kneeled on the grass, crossed herself and bowed her head.

For a moment, the shouting on Calle Ocho stopped.

A few yards away, Antolin Garcia Carbonell knelt in front of a tombstone and sobbed.

"I had to come and tell them," he said.

He paced the grass slowly, searching for the plaques of his grandparents and parents. The family left Cuba together in 1960, when Garcia was 8 years old.

He dropped a flower on each of their graves and whispered: "Murió Fidel."

Fidel died.

Maggie Cayon came to the cemetery with a Cuban flag. It was for her father, who died two years ago from cancer.

If he were alive, Cayon said, he would be out there driving on Calle Ocho, honking his car horn, celebrating the end of Castro's era.

"I wish," she said, "he would have been here."

Contact Laura C. Morel at Follow @LauraCMorel.

News of Castro's death spreads at Miami cemetery 11/26/16 [Last modified: Saturday, November 26, 2016 9:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Quiet college dropout turned bomber: Who was Salman Abedi?


    LONDON — He was quiet and withdrawn, a college dropout who liked soccer — and, some say, showed alarming signs of being radicalized years before he walked into a pop concert at Britain's Manchester Arena and detonated a powerful bomb, killing himself and 22 others.

    Salman Abedi was identified by British authorities as the man behind Monday’s attack.
  2. Soldiers launch attacks in besieged Philippine city


    MARAWI, Philippines — Backed by tanks and rocket-firing helicopters, Philippine troops launched "precision attacks" Thursday to clear extremists linked to the Islamic State group from a city that has been under siege since a raid that failed to capture one of Asia's most-wanted militants.

    Soldiers fire at enemy positions Thursday while trying to clear the city of Marawi, Philippines, of armed militants.
  3. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  4. Seminole man accused of fracturing 8-month-old baby's leg


    Deputies arrested a Seminole man Thursday after he fractured an 8-month-old baby's bones, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Gary G. Gibeault of Seminole was arrested on a charge of aggravated child abuse.
  5. St. Petersburg's ballooning sewage debt could threaten credit rating (but there's a Hail Mary plan to avoid that)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city needs a lot of money — $435 million over the next five years — most of it to fix its leaky sewer pipes and aging sewer plants.

    In September 2016, signs at St. Petersburg’s North Shore Park warned people to stay out of the water due to contamination from sewage released by the city’s overwhelmed sewer system. The City Council on Thursday learned that the very expensive fix for its sewage woes could hamper the city’s credit rating. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]