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Community reacts to Castro's death

Death triggers mourning, celebration around world

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The death of Fidel Castro, the leader who dominated Cuba for decades, triggered both mourning and celebration around the world, which could be seen in parts of Jacksonville.

In Florida -- a home to Cuban exiles -- some partied all day, waving Cuban or U.S. flags while some sang to festive music.

"We are having a sigh of relief in a way because it is not that we celebrate the death of a person, but what we are celebrating is actually the fact that this demon is out of our environment," said Gloria Linares, who lives in Jacksonville.

Linares said no loss of life should be celebrated, no matter who Castro was and what his legacy will be. She said she hopes people understand that.

"All I wish is that we have respect for all human life, and I am hopeful and so is my husband," Linares said.

While parts of Cuba mourned the death of Castro, people were spotted in Miami with signs celebratory of his death. Emilio Gonzalez-Chaves, of Jacksonville, said he doesn't understand why there would be mourning.

"They have to kind of make believe, especially if they are interviewed on the streets in Cuba," Gonzalez-Chaves said. "They can’t say, 'I don’t like him, I wish him to die,' because you can’t. It is not like this country."

President Barack Obama visited Cuba this year, which some say could be the start to better economic relations between the Caribbean island nation and the U.S.

News4Jax political analyst Rick Mullaney said economic relations could be significant, but there's still much work to be done.

"It has been a totalitarian regime for over half a century," Mullaney said. "Human rights and political freedoms are very important. They’re important in Miami and they’ll be important to the Trump administration."

Castro's body was cremated and his ashes will be publicly displayed in the capital's Revolution Square the first few days of next week.