Friday, December 02, 2016
Billy Long: Obama's response to Castro's death was deplorable; Trump's was great
On November 25th, news broke that Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro had died. While many Cuban Americans rejoiced about the death of a man who had caused them and many of their loved one’s pain, President Obama responded with one of the most deplorable responses the Leader of the Free World could give.
Growing up during the time Fidel Castro took power, I saw from the start the devastating effects his dictatorship had on the Cuban people. For further edification one only has to speak to some of my colleagues who were forced to flee his rule with their families as youngsters.
Our neighbor to the north, Canada, also gave a disgraceful response regarding the death of Fidel Castro. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went a step further to outright praise the Cuban dictator. He said that even his “detractors” understood his “dedication and love for the Cuban people,” as well as saying that he made “significant improvements to the education and health care.”
I for one was not mourning Fidel Castro’s death. This man and the Castro regime have been constant human rights violators prohibiting free speech, free press and free and fair elections. They are also guilty of jailing, beating and executing many who speak out against them.
President Obama was right when he said the Cuban people have a “friend and partner in the United States.” But that friend and partner shouldn't be one that continues to turn their backs on a country that oppresses its people. The United States needs to be a friend and partner who stands up to a dictatorship that has deprived its people, for far too long, basic human rights.
As President-elect Donald Trump said, “If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate the deal.” That is true leadership from a man who understands that you don’t negotiate with dictators, like Fidel Castro’s brother, Raul Castro, who is the current “president” of Cuba appointed by Fidel Castro himself.
The Cuban people deserve a chance to live in a democracy and all the freedoms that come with that. They have been denied all of those things for far too long.
Though the death of Fidel Castro was celebrated by many, it does not mean freedom for the Cuban people. Sadly, there is still much more work that needs to be done.