Cubans Mourn Fidel Castro

Take a look back at the leader who defied U.S. presidents for five decades and supported revolutions around the globe.
5:54 | 11/27/16

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Transcript for Cubans Mourn Fidel Castro
Good evening. On this Sunday night, we come to you from Havana, Cuba. We're here to witness the end of an era. After the death of the Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro. He ruled this island nation for 50 years. Here in Havana, a somber mood. The usually lively city, eerily quiet. In mourning. But the celebrations in Miami, for Cubans with loved ones who fled the brutal regime. Tonight, the people of both nations, as you will hear right here, are wondering what happens now? Tonight, all across Havana, we notice the flags at half-staff. The Cubans honoring their longtime leader. And on the streets of the capital, we see the famous vintage cars. But there's something missing, the music. We meet Roy, proud of his '56 Chevy. And even more proud of his leader. Reporter: He tells us he's already been gone for a long time. That the future depends on relationships with other countries, including the U.S. The road to Havana paved with glory for rebel chieftain Fidel Castro. Reporter: Fidel Castro riding into Havana. Coming into power at just 32 years old. He kept his grip on power here longer than any national leader, other than queen Elizabeth. Castro, born into a wealthy family. They had their own sugar cane plantation. He loved baseball. He loved politics. And he would love power. Is representative democracy and social justice. Reporter: Castro took power on new year's day, 1959. Promising democracy but soon throwing opponents in jail. There were executions. Silencing newspapers. And taking over all U.S. Businesses here, signing a pact with the soviet union. The U.S. Would respond with sanctions. President Kennedy approving the invasion. Cuban exiles entering at the bay of pigs. It failed. Castro won. Our Barbara Walters later crossing through the bay of pigs with Castro. Reporter: Do you feel funny crossing the bay of pigs with an American? With friends, America. With friend, America. Reporter: American friends, yes. It's a friendship relation. Reporter: It's friendly relation. You didn't come here to invade the country. Reporter: No, we didn't come to -- You came here to work and to know Cuba. Reporter: America found itself on the brink of nuclear war in 1962. Discovering Castro had let the soviets put nuclear missiles in Cuba. It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the western hemisphere as an attack by the soviet union on the United States. Reporter: The soviets removed the missiles. But America would deepen the sanctions. The monte Carlo of the Americas. Reporter: The nightclubs, the casinos, so popular with American tourists, were shuttered. Decades later, 11 million people live here, making just $20 a month. By some estimates, just 5% have internet access in their homes. We have seen in our reporting, the grocery shelves far from what you see in the U.S. Sugar, plentiful here, but most of the powdered milk, for instance, from New Zealand. She pulls tomato juice from the shelf. This is tomato juice from Spain. But just this year, president Obama, the first U.S. President to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge. Those old cars in the shadow of air force one. He would come here after moving to restore diplomatic relations. And our exclusive interview with the president during his visit. I asked if you'd be visiting Cuba before the end of your presidency. And you said, "Let's see how things evolve." So why now? The time is right. Obviously our intention has always been to get a ball rolling knowing that change wasn't going to happen overnight. Reporter: The president this year saying there are still significant differences around human rights and individual liberties. But we met two 15-year-olds, and we asked them, are they looking forward to the possibility of new freedoms here? Reporter: They tell us they are happy the way they are. A mass gathering is expected here in the next 24 hours to honor Fidel Castro. This is what's called the plaza of the revolution. They'll be able to sign a solemn oath saying they still believe in the concept of the revolution. And on the streets here, the American tourists, there are more of them than there has been in decades. This group from California. What do you hope now for the Cuban people? I hope to see them have a better life. Be open, more open. More happy, experience more. Be able to travel outside Cuba and see how other people live and enjoy life. Reporter: So you're all from Texas? Houston. Reporter: And this group here from rice university in Texas. They're here to watch baseball. The Americans against the Cubans. They got in some baseball, but the rest of the games have been cancelled. They tell me they understand

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