Plans for Castro death gathering fizzle in Miami

Published: Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 8:38 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 8:38 a.m.

MIAMI Plans for an organized gathering in Miami when Fidel Castro dies appear to have fizzled, now that the Orange Bowl stadium is no longer standing.

City leaders have not designated a replacement venue. The stadium was demolished last year to make way for a ballpark.

Reports last year that Miami was planning an official celebration of Castro's death drew international media attention and some criticism. City officials said the stadium would be a safe place for the Cuban exile community to gather peacefully, and that the only tax dollars spent on the event would be for public safety needs.

The focus now, city leaders say, is to have enough police presence to keep spontaneous celebrations orderly.

A monthlong halt in Castro's regular essays and recent comments by his friend and ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, are raising new concerns about the 82-year-old former president's health.

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