NAPLES, Fla-- Dozens of Cuban Americans marched through the streets of Downtown Naples on Saturday after hearing news of Fidel Castro's death. The group shouted sayings like "Viva Cuba libre, freedom for Cuba," while holding hand made signs and waving American and Cuban flags.
"I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I honestly did, I could not believe that this was happening," said Martha Mohrbacher.
Mohrbacher said her parents escaped Cuba in 1962. She said her dad enlisted in the US Army upon arrival with the hopes that the US would fight for Cuba. She said although that never happened, her dad was always happy to be living in the U.S. and so she didn't think twice about bringing her dad's ashes down to 5th Ave. to celebrate the news of Fidel Castro.
"I just wish he was here to see it. My mom is lucky enough she'll be able to see it, but I just wish my dad was here to see it too," said a teary-eyed Mohrbacher.
For Cuban Americans living in SW Florida, they said Fidel Castro's death is a joyous moment.
"My dad has been very sick with cancer and this was the best news for him," said Olga Blanco.
Blanco organized the march down 5th Ave. in Naples on Facebook. Dozens of friends showed up with many sharing stories about family members still living in Cuba, what this means for them and their initial reaction when hearing the news.
"Now that Castro's gone I want democracy for my country, democracy for my people. I want to be able to travel there, I want to take my children, my grandchildren," said Marti Perata.
Those who attended the march said they are ecstatic to hear about Fidel Castro's passing, but believe it will still be years before any changes are made in Cuba.
"And it's just hope that maybe they can have the freedom they deserve, this great country gives us all of that and it's just amazing what you can accomplish when you have that opportunity," said Mohrbacher.