A Study in Contrasts: Obama and Trump on the Death of Fidel

 

fidel-castroPresident Obama issued the following statement:

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.

And from President-elect Trump:

Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.

While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.

Though the tragedies and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.

I think all Ricochetti can agree upon which leader got the tone right.

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  1. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Indeed.  Anti-american president delivers a pro-tyrant paean.  Pro-american president-elect delivers a condemnation of tyranny.

    • #1
  2. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Speaks volumes to the future and how dictators will be viewed, compared to the last eight years…

    • #2
  3. Daniel Adam Murphy Reagan
    Daniel Adam Murphy
    @DanielAdamMurphy

    I’m a proud #NeverTrump guy, but I agree completely. I would give President Obama a pass on a statement with a conciliatory tone toward Cuba if it at least acknowledged that Castro created and presided over a one-party state with a gulag. The word “differences” doesn’t quite capture it, as far as I’m concerned.

    • #3
  4. Publius Inactive
    Publius
    @Publius

    Front Seat Cat:Speaks volumes to the future and how dictators will be viewed, compared to the last eight years…

    It’s a magnificent statement on Trump’s part. Let’s hope this attitude applies to Vladimir Putin as well as Fidel Castro.

    • #4
  5. jonb60173 Member
    jonb60173
    @jonb60173

    I live in utter amazement knowing roughly half our country nods in total agreement with Obama on this and holds up Trumps statement as another crucial example of how rotten a President he’ll be.

    • #5
  6. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Barack Obama is disgusting.

    • #6
  7. Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi Coolidge
    Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi
    @Pseudodionysius

    • #7
  8. Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi Coolidge
    Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi
    @Pseudodionysius

    Antananarivo, Madagascar
    November 26, 2016
    The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro:

    It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.

    “Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.

    “While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people(*) who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.

    “I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.

    “On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”

    (*) presumably the ones not left to rot and die in Cuban jails or flee to Miami.

    • #8
  9. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    What was Hillary’s statement? Was it suitably fawning? After all Fidel achieved something she can only dream about.

    Seawriter

    • #9
  10. Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi Coolidge
    Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi
    @Pseudodionysius

    In unrelated news:

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the top draw at a $1,500 Liberal Party cash-for-access fundraiser at the mansion of a wealthy Chinese-Canadian business executive in May. One of the guests at the event was a well-heeled donor who was seeking Ottawa’s final approval to begin operating a new bank aimed at Canada’s Chinese community.

    The Globe and Mail has learned that wealthy Chinese businessman Zhang Bin who, with a partner, donated $1-million to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and the University of Montreal Faculty of Law weeks after the fundraiser, also attended the event. Mr. Zhang is a political adviser to the Chinese government in Beijing and a senior apparatchik in the network of Chinese state promotional activities around the world.

    • #10
  11. Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi Coolidge
    Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi
    @Pseudodionysius

    Seawriter:What was Hillary’s statement? Was it suitably fawning? After all Fidel achieved something she can only dream about.

    Seawriter

    Bill’s wife, hat tip Small Dead Animals

    • #11
  12. Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi Coolidge
    Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi
    @Pseudodionysius

    • #12
  13. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    One thing I’ve noticed on my facebook feed.  The same people who have been going on and on for the past few weeks about the incipient fascist dictatorship that Trump is about to impose on the United States are the sames ones who are really upset about Castro’s death.

    • #13
  14. mildlyo Member
    mildlyo
    @mildlyo

    It’s nice to feel hope for the near future again.

    • #14
  15. Eb Snider Member
    Eb Snider
    @EbSnider

    So how long will it be before a cigar smoking Castro on a t-shirt becomes trendy fashion on college campuses and in sections of big cities?

    By the way, it’s a bit twisted how some press and some world leaders actually dignify Castro’s position with the title “President”. No, he was a military junta dictator. I mean at least when a dictator is looking to give the impression of reforming from military dictator to “President”, he removes his military uniform and puts on a suit.

    • #15
  16. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    RightAngles:Barack Obama is disgusting.

    But how do you really feel??

    • #16
  17. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi:

    Is this for real???

    • #17
  18. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    I wonder if Obama will offer Castro a State Funeral here in the US and give him a plot in Arlington. Are we going to fly the flags at half-staff for this brutal scumbag pr*ck, too?

    • #18
  19. Mark Thatcher
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    Interestingly, according to Powerline, Nancy Pelosi was much harsher than The Lightworker in her assessment:

    “The death of Fidel Castro marks the end of an era for Cuba and the Cuban people.  After decades under Fidel’s doctrine of oppression and antagonism, there is hope that a new path for Cuba is opening. . . Generations of Cuban political prisoners, democracy activists and families suffered under Fidel Castro’s rule.”

    • #19
  20. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    Seawriter:What was Hillary’s statement? Was it suitably fawning? After all Fidel achieved something she can only dream about.

    Seawriter

    She is probably too busy weeping over his death. Plus, she’s checking the records to see if he donated enough to the Foundation to merit a really, really, really sycophantic glowing statement.

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Publius:

    Front Seat Cat:Speaks volumes to the future and how dictators will be viewed, compared to the last eight years…

    It’s a magnificent statement on Trump’s part. Let’s hope this attitude applies to Vladimir Putin as well as Fidel Castro.

    Fwiw,  Trump’s statement on Fidel was not very much like Putin’s.

    • #21
  22. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Amazing contrast.

    • #22
  23. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    President-Elect Trump took the first step today in proving that, no matter what, he will be a greater president than his immediate predecessor.  His statement was point-on, exactly what the Cuban exiles needed to hear from their new American president. I well remember the stories told to me by Cuban friends in Miami back in the 1960s about the horrors that followed in the wake of Castro’s take-over in Havana. I remember all too well the Missile Crisis, and the deportation to the United States of a major portion of his criminal prison inmates. Castro has been a thorn in the foot of the United States since the late 1950s. Even though he has been largely irrelevant for the last several years, his very existence was a festering sore which now, hopefully, will drain and heal. Obama is just an embarrassment who will soon slip into the irrelevance he richly deserves. Good Riddance to them both.

    • #23
  24. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    No more than I’d expect from Dear Leader who, after all, has the wit and wisdom of “foreign policy” expert Ben Rhodes to draft his stuff. Clearly, Ben Rhodes knows bupkis about Cuba. The more fawning aspects may have been furnished care of his brother David at CBS.

    Trump’s statement is spot on.

    • #24
  25. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    I’m a fan of Trump’s style when applied to vicious dictators.

    Though even Jeb Bush sounds a lot like Trump when it comes to Fidel Castro.

    Nancy Pelosi, of all people, actually does better than the President:

    The death of Fidel Castro marks the end of an era for Cuba and the Cuban people.  After decades under Fidel’s doctrine of oppression and antagonism, there is hope that a new path for Cuba is opening.

    In recent years, we have seen both the opportunity and the responsibility to break free of the past and build new bonds of friendship.  With the bold leadership of President Obama, the U.S. and Cuba have already taken historic steps toward a new, forward-looking relationship between our peoples.  We are hopeful this progress will continue under the new Administration.

    Still, we meet this day with clear eyes. Generations of Cuban political prisoners, democracy activists and families suffered under Fidel Castro’s rule.  In their name, we will continue to press the Cuban regime to embrace the political, social, and economic dreams of the Cuban people.

    That should be the bare minimum. But compared to leftists around the world it sadly stands out.

    • #25
  26. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    How touchy-feely conservatives have become. Squishiness abounds.

    There are two interests that the United States has in Cuba: 1) No large wave of refugees to South Florida; and 2) No Chinese or Russian bases in Cuba (Monroe Doctrine). The death of Castro means these two interests are up in the air. Russia as sugar daddy went away decades ago. Venezuela has now gone. They’re going to be searching.

    Was Castro a monster? Yes. But it is immaterial to American interests at this time.

    We do not want a failed state (another Libya which neocons seem only too capable of delivering) 90 miles from Miami and we do not want foreign bases only slightly farther away. It’s not about the Castros.

    • #26
  27. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Hang On:How touchy-feely conservatives have become. Squishiness abounds.

    There are two interests that the United States has in Cuba: 1) No large wave of refugees to South Florida; and 2) No Chinese or Russian bases in Cuba (Monroe Doctrine). The death of Castro means these two interests are up in the air. Russia as sugar daddy went away decades ago. Venezuela has now gone. They’re going to be searching.

    Was Castro a monster? Yes. But it is immaterial to American interests at this time.

    We do not want a failed state (another Libya which neocons seem only too capable of delivering) 90 miles from Miami and we do not want foreign bases only slightly farther away. It’s not about the Castros.

    Sometimes it’s about human decency. If that is “touchy-feely,” so be it.

    This isn’t really about “American interests” or American policy. No one’s talking about trying to end every evil in the world just at the moment. We’re talking about speaking the truth about the evil on our doorstep.

    • #27
  28. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Publius: It’s a magnificent statement on Trump’s part. Let’s hope this attitude applies to Vladimir Putin as well as Fidel Castro.

    Consistency would be nice. Even if he has to play nice and make some realpolitik deals I hope is administration still talks about human rights with some sense.

    • #28
  29. Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi Coolidge
    Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi
    @Pseudodionysius

    Front Seat Cat:

    Gluteus Maximus of Latissimus Dorsi:

    Is this for real???

    I haven’t run it past the Washington Post’s crack team of Russian Propaganda detectors yet but I assume its real.

     

    • #29
  30. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Hang On: We do not want a failed state (another Libya which neocons seem only too capable of delivering) 90 miles from Miami and we do not want foreign bases only slightly farther away. It’s not about the Castros.

    Which “neocons” and by what mechanism?

    • #30

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