Varied Reaction to Castro’s Death Another Sign of Division in America, World
There is a deep divide among world leaders reacting to the death of Fidel Castro.
Many on the Left remember him as a world-class leader despite his violent and oppressive rule Most on the Right recall the communist ruler for his tyrannical, violent and often deadly reign.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement Saturday in which he expressed “deep sorrow” of learning of the death of the former Cuban president.
“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century,” he wrote. “A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.”
Britain’s Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn hailed Castro as a “champion of social justice.”
“From building a world class health and education system, to Cuba’s record of international solidarity abroad, Castro’s achievements were many,” he wrote.
President Barack Obama refused to recognize Castro’s Soviet-communism style or his defiance of the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half-century rule.
“History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him,” he wrote.
Palestine’s president Mahmoud Abbas Sunday ordered flags to be flown at half-mast to mourn the death of the Cuban revolutionary leader.
Castro broke off Cuba’s diplomatic ties with Israel in 1973 and was one of the first countries to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) after its founding in 1964, a Palestinian news agency reported.
But conservative leaders were not concerned with honoring Castro or his oppressive history.
“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty, and the denial of fundamental human rights,” President-elect Donald Trump said of the Cuban dictator’s death.
Florida senator Marco Rubio told Fox News that he hopes that the Obama administration sends “no one” to Castro’s funeral.
“The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not,” said Rubio, who is of Cuban decent.
“The future of Cuba ultimately remains in the hands of the Cuban people, and now more than ever Congress and the new administration must stand with them against their brutal rulers and support their struggle for freedom and basic human rights,” Rubio said.
Garry Kasparov, chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, tweeted several times Saturday reprimanding world leaders who “honored” Castro’s rule.
Fidel Castro was one of the 20th century’s many monsters. We should lament only that he had so long to inflict misery on Cuba and beyond.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) November 26, 2016
Don’t rationalize or apologize for Castro’s decades of brutal repression, torture, and murder. He didn’t fight for freedom; he destroyed it.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) November 26, 2016
Mike Gonzalez, Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, wrote a commentary called The Left’s Appalling Whitewashing of Castro’s Legacy.
“No social accomplishment, to be sure, could justify keeping an entire people hostage, denying them the right to elect their own leaders or exercise any human rights for half a century,” he wrote. “But there weren’t any accomplishments.”
Some leaders took a less harsh stance and said they hoped Cuba will use this opportunity to move away from its communist-style regime.
U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell wrote: “It is my hope that the Cuban regime will use this opportunity to turn the page for the good of the Cuban people and for all those living in the Americas. Freedom and democracy are long overdue in Cuba.”
House speaker Paul Ryan said that there is a lot of work to be done to secure freedom for the Cuban people.
“Now that Fidel Castro is dead, the cruelty and oppression of his regime should die with him,” he said. “Today, let us reflect on the memory and sacrifices of all those who have suffered under the Castros,” Ryan said.
Miami’s exile Cuban community in Little Havana rejoiced at the news of Castro’s death.
For many of them, there is a feeling of hope mixed with a little bit of skepticism.
“I find it hard to believe,” Dan Martin, a Miami-born engineer whose mother fled Castro’s Cuba in 1962, told the Miami Herald.
Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen spoke on behalf of the Cuban community in a press conference Sunday.
“I join with the Cuban-American community and the people of Cuba, who have lived for decades under this regime in closing one chapter of this nightmare,” she said.
“The political transition in Cuba had already occurred years ago, so don’t expect changes coming from Fidel’s death,” Ros-Lehtinen continued. “The only thing Fidel Castro has been successful at was staying in power. Period. I heard a lot of accolades about the great strides in literacy, against malnutrition and in education, but we know better.”
Unlike Ros-Lehtinen, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said Castro’s death could provide a new opportunity for the Cuban Church.
“The passing of the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro provides an opportunity for freedom and democracy to emerge in an island nation held captive by totalitarianism,” he said. “Let us pray and advocate for the current leadership to embrace liberty and respect the God given rights of all Cubans. Que viva Cuba, fuerte y libre!”
Report via CBN News
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