- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 26, 2016

With Fidel Castro’s passing Friday evening prompting impromptu parties on the streets of Miami, area establishments have announced plans to continue commemorating the dictator’s death with a slew of drink specials being offered in celebration.

Bars and restaurants throughout Miami, the city with the largest Cuban population in all of the United States, offered discounted cocktails and other deals on Saturday as news of Castro’s passing continued to garner enthusiastic responses among area expats.

The Ball & Chain bar in Little Havana planned to host a “Cuba Libre” (or “Free Cuba”) party with live music and drink specials on Saturday, and said it planned to serve up complimentary “Adios Fidel” cocktails to customers while supplies last.

Sergio’s Restaurants announced a similar promotion taking place Saturday at its Miami locations that will allow customers to receive a free Cuba Libre cocktail, also known as a Rum and Coke, with the purchase of an entree.

“Many Americans whose families came to America looking for freedom from Cuba’s dictatorship awoke today with hope for the future. There are certainly tense times ahead for our families and friends in Cuba, but we want to invite all our customers to celebrate their hopes and dreams for Cuba,” Sergio’s Restaurants’ CEO, Carlos Gazitua, told the Miami New Times.

For those looking for libations beyond the greater Miami region, Cuba Libre, a restaurant chain that shares its name with the cocktail, said it will serve customers complimentary Rum and Cokes starting Saturday afternoon at locations in Orlando, Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Washington, D.C. Patrons who say the words “Viva Cuba” to their bartender during happy hour will be given a free Cuba Libre “in recognition of Fidel Castro’s death,” the restaurant chain said on Twitter.

According to a local CBS affiliate, the Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood will hand out one free cocktail per person per day during the nine days leading up to Castro’s Dec. 4 funeral. Customers are encouraged to engage in “political discussion and discourse” about Castro’s regime while enjoying the drink special, the CBS affiliate reported.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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