Many Cubans in North Texas celebrated the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
They see Castro's death as symbolic step that could pave the way for true change in Cuba.
“I’m very happy today,” said Conception Rodriguez, as she sipped a cup of Cuban coffee at Havana Café in Dallas.
Rodriguez was born in Havana, Cuba.
Her family fled when she was 6-years-old, shortly after Castro's Communist regime took control.
“My family lost everything. We came to this country with one suitcase. One set of clothing for all of us. One suitcase for a family of six,” she said.
Saturday happens to be Rodriguez's birthday but she’s celebrating something more -- a sense of justice she says she's waited decades to see.
“Because if you think about it there is no human justice for what he did and I think, I think the country has found some sense of justice,” she said.
Cafe owner Ernesto Velez is also a Cuban native. He left the country when he was 23-years-old.
While he says Fidel’s death won't mean a fresh slate because Raul Castro is still in power, he’s optimistic that death can somehow breathe new life into a country he once considered home.
“I feel hopeful for the Cuban people. At the same time I feel happy at least it’s one Castro less in the regime,” Velez said.