The Cuban exile community in South Florida was hoping the death of Hugo Chavez makes the dominoes fall in just the right way to topple the Castro regime and turn Venezuela away from Cuba, Iran and North Korea and toward the western democracies.
"Hopefully, Chavez is in the same place as Muammar Gaddafi, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein," said Eddie Blaso.
"Kinda gives Venezuela some hope and the world some hope, " said Tim Beaty.
On state-run Cuban TV Tuesday night, an announcement: the country was in a period of official mourning. Chavez propped up the Cuban economy with an estimated 100,000 discounted barrels of petroleum a day. Cuban-Americans are hoping the new Venezuelan government won't be as generous, and without subsidies, the Castros won't be able to survive.
"We don't know at this point, honestly, hopefully things will get for the better," Lisette Garcia said.
Garcia is Cuban-American, her husband Richard is from Venezuela.
"I was very happy that the dictator was gone," said Richard Garcia.
Garcia hopes true democracy rises in Venezuela, but he sees trouble ahead.
"I think there's gonna be bloodshed spilled in my country within the next days," Garcia said.
When asked if that was a pessimistic view her said: "It is, but unfortunately, it's Latin America and that's the way we do it over there."