Man whose family had to flee Cuba reacts to death of Fidel Castr - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Man whose family had to flee Cuba reacts to death of Fidel Castro

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

When Fidel Castro rose to power to in 1959, Jason Streit's grandfather, a member of the counter-revolution, had already fled the country for safety.

Streit says life soon became harder on the remaining family; businesses, land, and homes were ceased by the Cuban government. His grandmother and two aunts following their grandfather to Venezuela for refuge, where his mother would be born.

While many in Cuba mourn the loss of it's leader, Streit says the reaction is different for the exiled Cuban community.

"It was a sense of celebration. A sense that a chapter for Cuba's history has closed. A man who has caused so much pain and so much hardship for many families, mine included, has passed away," Streit says.

Streit, who recently moved to Cedar Rapids, helps his brother run the The Lost Cuban restaurant in downtown Cedar Rapids.The logo of their grandfather.

"They came here to work harder and to try and make lives better for themselves and for their kids. I'm very happy to say that we've, through their sacrifices, we've been able to build something."

He says that half of his family still remains in Cuba and while they'd like to get them to the United States, says that they have a possibility of a new and better future.

"We do want democracy. At least of some sort because right now there is no freedom of speech, there is no freedom of press, there is no freedom to assembly.  All these things we take for granted here in America," he said.

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