Human Rights in Cuba

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December 2016
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Rafael Medina: Castro is dead but communism lives in Cuba
By Stephanie Bechara, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, December 12, 2016, 9:18 PM EST

Many Cubans escaped their country due to political oppression since the
start of ’s communist revolution in 1959. One Orlando family
is dreaming of a free Cuba following Castro’s death.

Rafael Medina and his family are just a few of the millions of Cubans
who left their homes, their families and their homeland to come to the
United States to forge a new life.

“I felt very privileged to have not only come here and learn a new
culture but to bring my culture from my land from Cuba,” said daughter
Minerva Quintero.

The Medinas are considered pioneers among the Hispanic business
community in Central Florida. They opened Medina’s, a Latin market in
Orlando back in 1970, which operated for more than 40 years.

“That was the center of where you could communicate with everybody.
Every time there was something going on,” said Angel Quintero.

They held Hispanic heritage festivals annually, and the smell of Cuban
coffee became a trademark at the grocery store, a smell that still
lingers today in their home.

The now-retired couple has a disappointing reflection of Cuba’s future
after Fidel Castro’s death.

“Se va Fidel pero se queda el comunismo.” Castro is dead but communism
lives, Rafael said in Spanish.

Looking at old pictures of Cuba are a painful reminder of happier times,
when Cuba laughed. All in all, Rafael thanked Castro because without him
he wouldn’t have sought after the “American Dream.”

Rafael said people wouldn’t just go to his store to have lunch but to
reminisce about the Cuba of days past.

“A Medina no solo se viene a lonchar, si no a recordar.” Orlando’s
community of displaced Cubans embraced Medina’s as a place that felt
like home. And a place the Medina’s could remember Cuba forever.

In 2013 Medina’s received a Lifetime Achievement Award for bringing a
taste of home and a sense of community to Orlando.

Source: Rafael Medina: Castro is dead but communism lives in Cuba –

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