Trump and Obama issue very different statements on Castro’s death

While American Cubans are celebrating Castro’s death, the statements made by Obama, who met with the Cuban dictator last spring in an effort to restore ties, and Trump, who called him a brutal oppressor, are stunningly different. 

Hundreds of American Cubans in Miami’s “Little Havana” district are celebrating the death of President Fidel Castro, 90, who passed away Friday.

Castro, a dictator, took power in 1959. Since then, thousands have fled the country for the U.S.

“This day, for me, is the most beautiful day of my life, the most happy day,” said Felix Puentes, a Little Havana resident who spent six years as a political prisoner in Cuba before finally escaping to the United States more than a decade ago, the Guardian reported. “I lost years of my life in Cuba. This is such a happy day.”

Yet not everyone is optimistic that change is coming.

“Sadly, Fidel Castro’s death does not mean freedom for the Cuban people or justice for the democratic activists, religious leaders, and political opponents he and his brother have jailed and persecuted. The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not.” Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a former Republican presidential candidate, said in a statement.

The reactions by world leaders were also varied, including those of U.S. President Barack Obama, which Rubio called “pathetic,” and President-elect Donald Trump.

“History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him,”  Obama – who met with Castro in April in Panama City in what was the first formal meeting between leaders of those countries since 1958 – stated.

“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…

“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….”

According to Trump, “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….

“Though the tragedies, deaths 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,” he concluded.

By: World Israel News Staff