News & Politics

Obama Refuses to Mention Castro's Oppression in Statement

 (Ismael rancisco/Cubadebate via AP, File)

This weaselly statement from President Obama on the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is about what you’d expect from a leftist admirer.

But since this is Obama, he can’t let the occasion pass without making it about him.

At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. 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.

For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements. During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends – bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity. This engagement includes the contributions of Cuban Americans, who have done so much for our country and who care deeply about their loved ones in Cuba.

Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people. In the days ahead, they will recall the past and also look to the future. As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.

Marco Rubio has the correct analysis of the president’s statement:

Ok, so Obama has to be a little diplomatic about the death of a former head of state. But among the “countless ways” Castro “altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation” were the trail of dead bodies he leaves behind, lives shattered by his secret police, a ruined economy, and a million refugees who couldn’t stomach his “workers’ paradise.”

And excuse me, but I think it’s a good idea to define our relationship by highlighting our differences. The president makes it appear that the Cuban people are relevant in this discussion. They are not. They have no power to govern their own lives or the lives of their families. They make no impact on government policy. And they do not have a “friend and partner” in the U.S. as long as we enable the oppression and torture being practiced by the regime.

Obama has taken the side of the oppressors while allowing the Raul Castro government to humiliate us.

Obama’s efforts to “put the past behind us” are truly pathetic. The families of the thousands of murder victims of this regime and the tens of thousands of people who have been harassed, jailed, beaten, tortured, and denied basic liberties will not forget, nor “put the past” behind them.

We may be neighbors, but the Cuban government has proven time and time again that we are not “friends”— not even close. The president has chosen to deny reality and sweep the many sins of Fidel Castro under the rug.

The inconvenient truth of Fidel Castro’s murderous regime will find no voice in this president’s pathetic statement.