Juanita Castro, the sister of Fidel Castro, told 7News that despite her disagreement with Fidel’s governing, she’s been grieving since his death on Friday.

Juanita said the death of her brother has left her with feelings of sorrow and disagreement with the recent celebrations of his death.

The 83-year-old was very clear that while she is grieving her brother’s death, she does not agree with the way he governed Cuba. She said she hasn’t spoken to Fidel or Raúl since their mother’s death in 1963.

While she helped people sneak out of the country years ago, she said losing her brother is emotional. “I feel bad because he’s broken one of the branch of our family,” she said. “He’s said all the time, doesn’t matter if they’re political or ideological.”

When asked what she would say if she could speak to Raúl, she responded, “Open the door of the Cuban country. Give the opportunity everybody decide their destiny — what kind of politician they want, what kind of government they want, have the equal opportunity to everybody.”

She said she wants the people of Cuba to be free. “Freedom of speech, freedom of women — the real democracy,” she said.

That’s what organizers of the rally, named Liberty and Democracy for Cuba, say the event is all about. “Showing the world that this is a jubilation,” said Bay of Pigs Veterans Association President Humberto Diaz Arguelles. “That maybe a new beginning of a new way to find freedom for Cuba.”

Several blocks will be shut down to accommodate the gathering along Southwest Eighth Street, between 12th and 17th Avenue. “We’re expecting thousands of people,” said Miami Police Lt. Freddie Cruz. “We’re gonna have plenty of uniformed officers and undercover officers, and that is for your safety.” 

City officials are also expecting the event to be a peaceful celebration. “We here in our exile community are saying thank goodness we have a great country, the United States of America that allows us to express our opinion, and they will be there is droves,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Juanita told 7News that she feels there has been a weight on her shoulders all these years, and that she won’t be attending Wednesday’s rally.

“I respect their determination for this celebration, but of course I don’t like it,” said Juanitia Castro in an interview with 7News. “I never will celebrate any death of anybody. Doesn’t matter if it’s my enemy or not.” 

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