POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Fidel Castro’s death has impacted Cubans around the world — including some here in the Valley.
Dr. Ivania Del Pozo, of Poland, was born in Cuba, but left when Castro came to power.
She said Castro was more than a leader.
“I felt that this is a man that changed a country,” Del Pozo said.
Under his 50-year rule, he made many changes to the Cuban way of life.
“Basically, the two areas that he changed Cuba were in education and in healthcare,” Del Pozo said. “And these changes are going to stay no matter what government is in power.”
Zenaida Blanco, who lives in Canfield, left Cuba before the revolution. She said when she goes back, she only sees the negative things Castro’s regime has done.
“Por que I went back there twice,” Blanco said. “And it’s terrible to live there. I feel sorry for the people left behind.”
Her son Richard Blanco agrees.
He said the positive changes to healthcare and education don’t outweigh the poverty many Cubans face.
“If you don’t have your basic needs met, what’s the point?” Richard Blanco said.
Dr. Del Pozo said that before you take a position on Castro, look back at the legacy he left behind.
“Before we judge these leaders, we have to see what they accomplished,” she said. “They’re not going to be perfect. But it’s the vision that they had.”
Richard Blanco said that the only way Cuba can succeed is if it wipes the regime from its memory.
“I have relatives that feel that the only way that this will get resolved is by having democracy there,” he said. “And by ousting the regime that’s there.”