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Coloradans with ties to Cuba reflect on Fidel Castro's death

While world leaders gather for Fidel Castro’s Sunday funeral and Cubans continue a government-mandated period of mourning, Cuban-Americans in Colorado are quietly celebrating or reflecting on the future for the embattled island nation.

Castro, along with his brother, Raul, and Che Guevara, led the Cuban Revolution and overthrew then-President Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Castro then took power as Cuban Prime Minister, becoming president in 1976.

Castro was a repressive leader, banning free speech and religion. He jailed or executed political opponents. While he offered education to Cubans, he also kept them in a state of abject poverty, due in part to the nation’s icy relationship and trade embargo with the United States.

‘Elated’

Cristina Aguilera, of Boulder, was 10 years old in 1960 when her parents fled Cuba under Castro’s new regime.

When she learned of his death on Nov. 25, Aguilera said she felt “elated.”

“All of our family members started texting and playing music,” Aguilera…

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