HAVANA — The nightclubs shut down early. Police officers and soldiers were on patrol as crowds of young people, dressed for a night out, spilled into the darkened streets.
Some had already been told the news, called by loved ones watching state television at home. Some were just finding out, their cellphones pressed to their ears as they absorbed what happened.
Others still did not know — Fidel Castro had died.
By sunrise, flags all over this vibrant, confounding capital had been lowered to half-staff. Young and old gathered in small groups — military officers in green fatigues, grandmothers mopping doorways, night watchmen finishing a surprising shift — and where there might have normally been laughter or yelling, whispers filled the void.