Gloria Estefan, Jose Canseco among Cuban-American celebs reacting to Fidel Castro's death
'It's the symbolic death of destructive ideologies,' says Havana-born singer-songwriter Estefan
The death of longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who stepped down from his presidency in 2008 after decades in power, has caused swift and strong reaction around the world, including from high-profile Cuban-Americans.
Gloria Estefan, who was born in Havana and fled with her family to the U.S. as a result of the Cuban revolution, posted a lengthy message about Castro's death on her Instagram Saturday.
"Although the death of a human being is rarely cause for celebration," she wrote, "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."
She wrote that although "the grip of Castro's regime will not loosen overnight," his death "can only lead to positive change for the Cuban people and our world."
While Estefan took a strong stance in her message, former baseball star and Toronto Blue Jays player Jose Canseco, also born in Havana, kept his response personal.
"I was born in Cuba and Fidel Castro was our leader. Came to the USA because of him," Canseco tweeted late Friday. "Can't say I feel anything for his death. There is a reason many defected to USA."
Can't say I feel anything for his death. There is a reason many defected to USA—@JoseCanseco
I was born in Cuba and Fidel Castro was our leader. Came to the USA because of him.—@JoseCanseco
Journalist Soledad O'Brien, who has Cuban heritage, offered her take.
"Legend and dictator," she wrote about Castro on Twitter. "He was very complicated. And for many Cubans a hero (at first) because he got rid of [Fulgencio] Batista and gave the finger to the US."
She went on: "At the cost of dictatorship and killing your enemies and jailing those you don't like and killing your economy. Quite a cost."
Legend and dictator. He was very complicated. And for many Cubans a hero (at first) bc he got rid of Batista and gave the finger to the US. <a href="https://t.co/xvO8Uiazga">https://t.co/xvO8Uiazga</a>—@soledadobrien
At the cost of dictatorship and killing your enemies and jailing those u don't like and killing your economy. Quite a cost. <a href="https://t.co/d0OfHY9z08">https://t.co/d0OfHY9z08</a>—@soledadobrien
Her messages sparked a lot of reaction — positive and negative — to which she continued to respond throughout the day.
Cuban-born television host and model Daisy Fuentes didn't hide her feelings on social media, posting news of Castro's death with a party hat emoticon next to it and retweeting video of people celebrating in Miami.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FidelCastro?src=hash">#FidelCastro</a> dead at 90 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cuba?src=hash">#Cuba</a> 🎉 <a href="https://t.co/wo6caxgNDY">pic.twitter.com/wo6caxgNDY</a>—@DaisyFuentes