Napolon Bequer said while he doesn't wish death on anyone, he is relieved that Fidel Castro has died.
“It’s not bad that he’s gone," Bequer said. "I hope he is going to face what he has to face in another life.”
Bequer came to the United States in 1960 with his family on a boat.
”We landed in the port of Miami thanks to a marine ship that picked us up when our boat was sinking in the middle of the Caribbean Sea,” Bequer said.
He was only 13 years old but he remembers that time like it was yesterday.
“We had just gone through the Civil War so we didn’t have any time to be kids,” Bequer said.
His family fled Cuba after his father voiced concern that communists had infiltrated the government.
“That was enough to put him in jail and they were almost going to shoot him,” Bequer said.
The family fled with their lives and they've never looked back, leaving everything behind.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Bequer said.
Bequer has four kids, two of them just graduated from medical school, following his footsteps as a doctor.
He hopes the future will be brighter for his kids and the Cuban people now that Fidel Castro has died.
“He was a monster," Bequer said. "He was an assassin of masses.”
The question many Cuban Americans are asking themselves now is just how much will change since Fidel's brother Raul Castro remains in charge.
Mirta Luaces, editor of the Hispanic newspaper La Guia Gratuita in West Palm Beach, said while nothing will change overnight Fidel Castro's death is still significant.
“He was a symbol," Luaces said. "A symbol of a revolution. A symbol of a system that has oppressed people for almost six decades.”
Luaces said that the system in Cuba will eventually topple but it might take many years. The death of Fidel Castro gives new hope to those who want to see change.
“People are going to be more vocal about talking against the government,” Luaces said. "They're not going to be afraid anymore."
For her and many Cubans who fled their home country many years ago, his death is a historic moment.
Luaces remembers when she left Cuba in the 1960s.
“I treasure my teen years in Cuba," Luaces said. "I wish that one day I can come back with my children and grandchildren to show them where we grew up, where we were born and where our dreams were shattered.”