Cuban dissident reacts to death of Fidel Castro

HAVANA -- Four days after Fidel Castro’s death, some who opposed the dictator are already dreaming of a better future for Cuba.

While thousands of Cubans mourned, Antonio Rodiles was being hassled outside his Havana home by a man he said was a government official -- a warning not to use Castro’s death to promote change.

Rodiles said when he found out Castro was dead, he thought it was the right moment for his death. 

“I was thinking that was the right moment  ... for the death of this person.” 

Rodiles hosts an opposition talk show that is distributed on DVDs through an underground network. He said he was detained 50 times last year, and in 2014, was beaten and jailed after opposing the U.S. deal to reopen relations with Cuba. 

He said the deal failed to address human rights abuses here. He said he is hopeful President-elect Donald Trump will change course.

“You need to pressure the regime for that,” he said. 

Not all Cubans feel that way.  The society is slowly opening up -- and interaction with America is generally welcome here. Economic opportunity could be the strongest catalyst for Cubans to turn the page from the Castro era.


Antonio Rodiles.

CBS News

“He’s part of the past. We need to pass over him. We need to pass over his name. We need to pass over his legacy, communist legacy,” said Rodiles. 

Rodiles said he can see a free election happening in Cuba in his lifetime. 

“I am optimistic,” he said. 

That will not be easy if the crowd is any indication of the support for the Castro regime. Thousands have started to gather at Revolution Square for a mass gathering to commemorate the late leader.