Austin Cuban Society responds to death of Fidel Castro

Members of the Austin Cuban Society said they don't expect any major consequences, or great changes with the death of Castro for those here in Austin or those in Cuba, but they will continue to do what they can to try to help their fellow countrymen who are still in the communist country.

Dr. Richard Calvo left Cuba in 1960, “There were two choices before I left Cuba, either to stay and being scared in the communist system or being scared where you have opportunity and freedom.” Dr. Calvo was just 16-years-old when he boarded the plane to NYC. “I came in to United States, and lived in New York for 16 years,” he said. Making a better life for himself, he's now been in Austin for 40 years, and is a Pediatric Neurologist. “I attended New York University and Columbia University. I got my degree in electrical engineering then I went on to PhD, and later I became a physician, which that's what I am now.” Hearing of the death of Fidel Castro he said doesn't bring much emotion. “Really we consider that his death (FC) has no major consequences, and don't expect great changes in Cuba because since 2006, when he became sick, he has  been losing relevance as the head of the communist party,” he said.

Calvo is part of the Austin Cuban Society in Austin. A group that has been around for several years and has hundreds of members, they come together once a month with the main goal to help those still living in Cuba.  Lillian Simmons is the Coordinator for the group, “We are considering proposing some amendments to the Cuban embargo in order to help human rights in Cuba,” she said.

Calvo said little by little Castro lost effectiveness within the Cuban population, but the deaths of communist dictators in general really don't have many consequences. “As long as the communist party has a complete grip of power, things will go the way they dictate, the name of the individual does not matter within the party, the doctrine does. That's why we consider maybe a little change in the hierarchy of the party but not nothing the  people on the street will notice, it will continue on as such,” he said.

That's why Calvo along with all the other Cubans in Austin said they will continue on their mission for change for Cuba.

For more information on the Austin Cuban Society, you can click here.

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