President Barack Obama’s statement about the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has enraged so many people. What might sound like a neutral and on-the-fence comment on Castro’s death has sparked anger among Americans thinking he is being too kind to Castro’s true legacy.
This was President Obama’s statement about the death of Fidel Castro.
“At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people,” Obama’s statement reads. “We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”
People are not amused or proud of the tone President Obama struck with his statement.
“It began with mass summary executions of Batista officials and soon progressed to internment of thousands of gay men and lesbians; systematic, block-by-block surveillance of the entire citizenry; repeated purges, complete with show trials and executions, of the ruling party; and punishment for dissident artists, writers and journalists,” The Washington Post’s Editorial Board wrote about Castro’s legacy.
Especially when compared to President-elect Donald Trump’s statement.
“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades,” Trump’s statement reads. “Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”
Some people are calling the Obama administration out on being tougher on the critics of his statement than the legacy of a dictator.
“As other countries in the region turned away from authoritarian rule, only Fidel Castro’s Cuba continued to repress virtually all civil and political rights,” José Miguel Vivanco, the Human Rights Watch’s Americas director, told The Guardian. “Castro’s draconian rule and the harsh punishments he meted out to dissidents kept his repressive system rooted firmly in place for decades.”
Cuban-American politicians have joined others in condemning President Obama over his remarks.
“Cuba’s pre-Castro economy was overly reliant on sugar exports and left many in poverty, and the post-1961 U.S. trade embargo did not help the revolution prosper,” The Washington Post’s Editorial Board wrote. “But Mr. Castro himself did by far the lion’s share of damage, impoverishing the island through a program of total state control, occasionally punctuated by his own grandiose schemes — from the ill-fated 10 million-ton sugar harvest in the 1960s to the brutally austere “Special Period” after Soviet subsidies ended in the 1990s.”
Rep. Carlos Curbelo is a Florida state representative for the 26th district which includes parts of Miami-Dade County.
“I think President Obama owes an apology to the American people,” Curbelo said on CNN. “Not just to Cuban-Americans, who have felt so much of this pain, but I remind people [that] Fidel Castro is the man who had nuclear missiles installed in Cuba and pointed to the United States. He brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war and for the president to say [that] History will judge Fidel Castro, we don’t have to wait. We know that this man was a tyrant, he was a murderer, he worked against the United States every single day of his life when he was in power.”
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida echoed much of what Curbelo has said about Fidel Castro.
“Fidel Castro seized power promising to being freedom and prosperity to Cuba, but his communist regime turned it into an impoverished island prison,” Rubio said. “Over six decades, millions of Cubans were forced to flee their own country, and those accused of opposing the regime were routinely jailed and even killed.”
And Rubio did not hold back on President Obama calling his statement “pathetic.”
Some people wants those who are angry by Obama’s remarks to reevaluate their stance on a Trump/Putin alliance.
If you can be mad at Castro being “praised” by President Obama, then you can be upset for Putin being praised by Trump. Putin was a major supporter of Castro’s regime and worked closely with the dictator.
Even people who admire President Obama are disheartened by his statement.
And this person is comparing Obama’s response to that of Cher’s.