CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Members of Charlotte's Cuban community displayed mixed reactions to the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
At "A Piece of Havana," one of Charlotte's few Cuban restaurants, Jamie Infanzon sits at the bar, drinking Saturday night's special, a concoction of rum, coke and lime, called a "Cuba Libre."
"A Cuba Libre means 'Free Cuba,' but it was never free," Infanzon said. "The first day you can have a real 'Free Cuba.'"
He said his family was among the first families to successfully escape Fidel Castro's regime by boat.
"Nothing's going to change a whole lot right now," he said. "But I believe it's a good start to a new chapter."
Waver Diaz-Soto is a cook at the restaurant who came to Charlotte from Cuba just seven months ago.
Through a translator, Diaz-Soto expressed cautious thoughts on whether Castro's death could spark more freedoms for the country's citizens.
"The changes need to actually come from the people of Cuba, not from the government," he said.
Restaurant owner Belkis Plasencia also left Cuba when she was young to study abroad; she said Castro's regime would not let her visit her family in the country for 15 years.
"I'm happy and I can not be happy with somebody died," she said. "But this is something that makes so many people happy, and I have to respect that."
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