Things That Matter

These Messages Perfectly Explain That Cubans Aren’t Celebrating The Death Of Fidel Castro

@EdLeafe / @Chris_Santiago_ / Twitter

Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator and face of the Cuban Revolution that toppled the Fulgencio Batista regime, died at 90 on Nov 25 2016. The cause of death hasn’t been released yet. Since his death, there has been an outpouring of celebrations from Cuban-Americans who have been waiting for the news of Castro’s death since fleeing the island for the U.S. But they’re not celebrating the actual death of Castro. Rather, Cuban-Americans are celebrating a chance for a better future for the island nation.

Cuban-American celebrities like Gloria Estefan took to social media to spread the news that Fidel Castro is dead.

Although the death of a human being is rarely cause for celebration, it is the symbolic death of the destructive ideologies that he espoused that, I believe, is filling the Cuban exile community with renewed hope and a relief that has been long in coming. And although the grip of Castro's regime will not loosen overnight, the demise of a leader that oversaw the annihilation of those with an opposing view, the indiscriminate jailing of innocents, the separation of families, the censure of his people's freedom to speak, state sanctioned terrorism and the economic destruction of a once thriving & successful country, can only lead to positive change for the Cuban people and our world. May freedom continue to ring in the United States, my beautiful adopted country, and may the hope for freedom be inspired and renewed in the heart of every Cuban in my homeland and throughout the world. ???? Aunque la muerte de un ser humano es raramente causa para celebrar, es la muerte simbólica de las ideologías destructivas que el patrocinó que, en mi opinión, están llenando al exilio Cubano de esperanza renovada y un alivio que ha tardado mucho en llegar. Y aunque el agarre del régimen Castrista no se aflojara de un día para otro, el deceso de un líder que supervisó el aniquilamiento de aquellos con puntos de vistas opuestos al suyo, el encarcelamiento de inocentes, la separación de familias, la censura de la libertad de expresión, el esparcimiento de terrorismo sancionado por su gobierno y la destrucción económica de un país exitoso que prosperaba, solo puede llevar a cambios positivos para el pueblo Cubano y el mundo. Que la libertad siga viva en los Estados Unidos, mi bello país adoptivo, y que la esperanza para la libertad crezca y se renueve en los corazones de cada Cubano en mi tierra natal y a través del mundo.????

A photo posted by Gloria Estefan (@gloriaestefan) on


“Although the death of a human being is rarely cause for celebration, it is the symbolic death of the destructive ideologies that he espoused that, I believe, is filling the Cuban exile community with renewed hope and a relief that has been long in coming,” Estefan wrote on Instagram. “And although the grip of Castro’s regime will not loosen overnight, the demise of a leader that oversaw the annihilation of those with an opposing view, the indiscriminate jailing of innocents, the separation of families, the censure of his people’s freedom to speak, state sanctioned terrorism and the economic destruction of a once thriving & successful country, can only lead to positive change for the Cuban people and our world.”

Retired baseball player Jose Canseco also weighed in on Castro’s death.


He didn’t celebrate the death but he gave a quick explanation why celebrations in the U.S. are a thing.


Actor Laz Alonso echoed Canseco with his own post to Instagram.


“There is a reason they celebrate,” Alonso wrote. “Unless u lived it, are related to those that did or lost relatives that did, u don’t know.”

And Calle Ocho in Miami was packed with people celebrating the death of Castro like only Cubans could.


Think a lot of cafecitos, cigars, pots and pans and, of course, so much rum!

Little Havana was the place to be following the announcement.


People. Are. Living.

Oh, and so many Cubanos.


Who wouldn’t want to wake up to some freedom Cubanos?

Obviously, you can’t celebrate the future of Cuba without some dancing.


¡Dale!

Even this abuelita’s Alzheimer’s didn’t dampen the emotion of Fidel Castro’s death.

Not even Alzheimer’s could take away the emotions my abuela Ata felt when she found out that monster had died! Thanks to her, my family is in this country today. ❤️❤️❤️
#GoodRiddanceFidel

Posted by Ivis Suarez on Saturday, November 26, 2016


???

The hopes for a new and free Cuba is transcending generations.


Abuelitas are celebrating with their nietos who are calling their mamis and it is just glorious.

The Cuban flag is being waved all over the U.S. and it is beautiful.


¡Cuba Libre!

Again, they want everyone to know that most people aren’t celebrating a death of a human but the hope of a country.


Looking at you, Raul. ?

Though some are celebrating his death specifically.


Okay, Jerry.

Venezuelans in Miami are taking to the streets to celebrate with their Cuban neighbors.


Venezuela and Cuba share a shockingly similar story and experience given the Nicolás Maduro administration.

Some celebrators are pointing out that Cuba needs more than just Fidel’s passing.


*Raúl Castro pulls out a veladora and prays*

A few smart folks are seeing the business opportunities linked to the news of Fidel’s death.


*starts buying stock for Cohiba*

Is there a #MannequinChallenge celebrating this? Obvi!


On. Point.


READ: Here’s What You May Not Know About Cuban Leader Fidel Castro

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Some People Don’t Believe The Cuban Government Is Being Honest About The Number Of People Living To 100

Culture

Some People Don’t Believe The Cuban Government Is Being Honest About The Number Of People Living To 100

Alexander Kunze / Unsplash

Longevity is both the question and the answer to experts seeking to understand communities that live longer than average. In the U.S., wealth is often more correlated to health, with greater access to both healthcare and self-care. Cuba, however, is not a wealthy country. With the average monthly income being publicly listed as $30 per month, experts are puzzled as to why there are 2,070 Cubans living over 100 years old on the island.

Like many other communities of centenarians, experts suspect a strong family system is a key to a long life. Other experts suspect Cuba is lying.

The data on thousands of people living to 100 is released by Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health.

@AFP / Twitter

The data itself is based on the first quarter of 2017, which showed that more than 1,200 of the centenarians were women. According to the communist nation, 19.8 percent of its people are 60 years and older.

“Centennials now represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the population, with very special socioeconomic and health implications,” Dr. Alberto Fernández Seco, director of the Ministry’s Department of the Older Adult, Social Assistance and Mental Health told Juventud Rebelde.

Dr. Fernández Seco credits Cuba’s free healthcare for the success of its citizens.

“Health care is free in Cuba, a country with has an average life expectancy of 79.5 years. Photo: AFP” Digital Image. AFP. 2 July 2019.

What’s more is that Dr. Fernández Seco says the population isn’t demented, disabled or heavily dependent. The majority of those 100 years and older live with their family.

Rigoberta Santovenia, 102, credits her family for her ripe age.

“Rigoberta Santovenia, 102, at her home in Havana. Photo: AFP” Digital Image. AFP. 2 July 2019.

She lives with her 68-year-old daughter, Regla, who takes care of her. “I’m very family oriented — I love my children, my grandchildren, my six great-grandchildren. I’ve never been alone,” she said.

Regla is convinced her mom will make it to the “120 Club.”

“Rigoberta Santovenia, 102, reads a newspaper at her house in Havana. Photo: AFP” Digital Image. AFP. 2 July 2019.

In 2003, Fidel Castro’s personal doctor, Eugenio Selman-Housein, created the “120 Club,” which is promoted to this day. Dr. Raul Rodriguez, President of the “120 Club” maintains that “biologically, it has been proven that humans can live for 120 to 125 years.”

Regla thinks her mother was born to live to 120 years old. “Her great-grandmother was a slave. Slave blood seems to be stronger — that’s why she’s kept going so long,” Regla said. Rigoberta continues to read the newspaper every day without reading glasses.

Delia Barrios, 102, also says that it’s her family that keeps her going.

“Delia Barroso, 102, blows out the candles on her birthday cake at a party in Havana. Photo: AFP” Digital Image. AFP. 2 July 2019.

“I don’t feel like I’m this old. I have a family … that loves me a lot. That helps me to feel good,” she said. Barrios uses a motorized wheelchair–one that her great-granddaughter Patricia likes to join for the ride.

When Barrios was 60 years old, she was diagnosed with colon cancer and moved to the U.S.

“Delia Barroso (left) receives a present at her 102nd birthday party in Havana. Photo: AFP” Digital Image. AFP. 2 July 2019.

Twenty years later, she moved back to Cuba so she could be cared for by family. She lives with her granddaughter, Yumi, 59. Barrios says she spent her youth dancing, drinking, and smoking.

Plus, like most of our abuelas, she’s still dressed for success.

@newsroll / Twitter

For Cubans, reaching 100 isn’t the goal. They want to join the “120 Club,” and to live as you’ve still got two decades ahead of you, once you’ve reached 100 years old, certainly offers motivation.

Some experts, however, think Cuba is smudging the numbers for propaganda’s sake.

@EmbassyofRussia / Twitter

Robert Young, an expert with the U.S. Gerontology Research Group, does acknowledge the family support system as a significant factor. “We see that in Japan, too,” he says. On the other hand, he thinks the numbers are meant to propel “a myth that’s used for ideologic propaganda purposes.”

The methods of manipulation are shocking.

@AFP / Twitter

An expert on the matter for Cuba, specifically, Vincent Geloso, says that Cuban doctors “have targets to reach or they’re punished.” Geloso references a similar government’s strategy–the Soviet Union used to record infant deaths as miscarriages to keep down mortality rates.

Regardless, Cuba’s life expectancy relative to revenue is truly remarkable.

@ANTICONQUISTA / Twitter

It doesn’t add up to other countries. Experts have a range of theories ranging from the low rate of car ownership and resultant accident deaths to even the 1990’s food rationing that kept diabetes rates down while other countries’ skyrocketed.

Whatever the case may be, many feliz cumple’s a Cuba.

READ: A Brazilian Social Security Worker May Have Discovered the Oldest Living Person Ever

After 50 Years Of Telling Us What To Expect In Life, Walter Mercado Is Being Honored With An Exhibit

Entertainment

After 50 Years Of Telling Us What To Expect In Life, Walter Mercado Is Being Honored With An Exhibit

waltermercadotv / Instagram

For Latinos, there’s only one famous person that’s been part of our lives since day one. Okay, well aside from Juan Gabriel, it has to be Walter Mercado. The 87-year-old Puerto Rican has influenced our lives in so many ways, and now it’s time to return that love. If you have ever dreamed about getting a personal reading from the greatest psychic icon of all time, your dream is about to become a reality, sort of.

The HistoryMiami Museum is hosting a retrospective on the life and legacy of Walter Mercardo.

Instagram/@historymiami

The exhibition titled “Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado.” The show will feature his “costumes, mementos, and ephemera, on display for the first time ever.”

The show’s description states that the show “celebrates the life and career of the beloved Latino astrologer and pop culture icon. For over five decades, Walter Mercado has shared his astrological predictions with style, flair, and mucho, mucho amor.”

The exhibition will also feature a fair amount of history on this eccentric icon.

Instagram/@waltermercadotv

While we know he grew up in Puerto Rico, we don’t know much else about his life. This show will hopefully fill in the gaps.

The description states: “Raised in the sugar cane fields of Puerto Rico, Mercado grew up to become a gender non-conforming, cape-wearing, psychic astrologer whose televised horoscopes reached 120 million Latino viewers a day for more than 30 years. One of the world’s most famous astrologers, he is a part of the cultural zeitgeist for Latinos and remains a popular figure that transcends generations.”

And (drum roll, please) on Aug. 2, Walter Mercado will be at the museum for a special public program!

Details about tickets have yet to be revealed, but once they are you know, they’re going to go fast. Everyone wants to get a close look at the Latino icon and his long legacy dictating our lives.

The news is already getting Mercado stans truly hyped.

Credit: @titoman76 / Twitter

The world has been a crazy and uncomfortable place for a while. There is always scary and bad news on the tv whether it is about international crises or the migrant crisis. Fortunately, we have been able to disconnect when Mercado comes on our tv screens.

There is no lack of people willing and ready to buy all of the tickets for this event.

Credit: @daphnee_arana / Twitter

Honestly, if you are planning a trip to Miami around this exhibit, what are you doing? He is one of the greatest stars of the Latino community. He has been giving people astrological readings on tv since 1970. He has been telling our abuelas what their year has to offer for 50 years and it is our duty to show him some respect.

Let’s just take a moment and think about the importance of such an iconic and necessary event.

Credit: @andreagonram / Twitter

Thank you for the decades of advice and guidance, Walter. You made our lives the exciting and interesting rollercoaster it is. If it wasn’t for your advice, we would not know what to do.

If you could meet him, what would you ask?

Click here for more information.

READ: Let’s Take A Moment To Honor The Life And Legacy Of Walter Mercado Who Guides Us Through Life

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