Fidel Castro Dead at 90

Fidel Castro, the dictator of Cuba, died this past Friday, November 25th. He was 90-years-old.

Mr. Castro was an extremely controversial leader during the 1950s, and was one of the major players in bringing the Cold War to the United States. America has had a strained relationship with Cuba for decades, as a result of Castro's communist regime. It wasn't until President Obama's trip this past year that people thought they were seeing the conflicts between the two states start to dissipate.

The reactions to Castro's death in the past week seemed to depend on where you lived. While most Cubans loved and adored him, others hated him, especially Cuban-Americans. Both of these individuals expressed themselves quite differently when his death was announced on live television. According to CNN, one Cuban woman stated that the people of Cuba are, "feeling sad because of the loss of [their] commander in chief Fidel Castro Ruz, and [they] wish him, wherever he is, that he is blessed, and...Cubans love him." On the other hand, there have been dozens of celebrations in cities like Miami over the death of a dictator who ruled almost as long as Queen Elizabeth II.

While millions of people are expressing sentiments of grief or jubilation at Castro's death, those in politics are asking themselves a very important question: now what? What is going to happen in Cuba now that Castro is dead? What will this do to the Cuban-American relationship? And who will take over the nation after Castro's brother, Raul, when he resigns in 2018? These are all very important questions to consider on a global scale, but even more important for Americans with an unpredictable President-elect. What is Trump going to do about his relations with Cuba once he assumes office?

A lot of people are thinking, "So what? So what if he's dead? It doesn't affect me." This is true; directly or immediately, Fidel Castro's death is not going to change our lives. We are going to wake up and go along with the same routines as yesterday. However, what is going on in Cuba may seem like a small, minimal issue to us in America, but it is anything but that. The U.S. and Cuba have a long history and it would be foolish to ignore the possible situations that could result from Castro's death. So much has happened between the U.S. and Cuba in the last fifty to sixty years, and it is our duty as American citizens to pay attention to what is happening around us, especially to one of our closest neighbors, whose policies do not exactly align with our own. Politics may seem boring and complicated to some, but all it really boils down to is one thing: what can we do that is best for our country and others? What can we do about this situation in Cuba, that benefits both ourselves and the Cuban people?

As a young person growing up in our world today, it is both fascinating and terrifying. So many things are changing every day. New leaders rise and others die, regimes change, and countries break out in unrest. While there are so many other things happening in our world, it is imperative we closely watch what will play out in Cuba. What happens in our world does not happen by chance; it is molded and shaped by us, the people, and we should pay closer attention to what is happening, so we can live in a world we feel both safe and secure in.

Will Donald Trump continue on President Obama's legacy by slowly agreeing to have our nation and Cuba work together to create a better foreign relationship? There is no definite answer at this point, but one thing is for sure; only time will tell.