Sunday, November 27, 2016

And A Castro Of Thousands

If you're wondering how President-elect Trump would handle his first major foreign policy test with the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro over the weekend, well, it went pretty much as everyone expected.

Donald Trump condemned the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro on an otherwise quiet Saturday for the president-elect.

"The world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades," Trump said in a statement issued hours after Castro's death. "Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights."

Trump, who has pledged to roll back the Obama administration's diplomatic opening to Cuba, said the nation remains "a totalitarian island," but he hopes that Castro's passing will mark "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."

Noting support of anti-Castro Cuban Americans during the recent presidential election, Trump pledged to fight for a "free Cuba" during his administration.

"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," Trump said in his statement.

Earlier in the morning, Trump marked the news with brief tweet: "Fidel Castro is dead!"

Sure hope he doesn't fall for any Twitter hoaxes about people dying.  Might lead to an international incident or six.

Compare that to actual President Obama's 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.

Republicans like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have already called the measured statement "pathetic" but hey, we'll just have the Tweeter-in-Chief to scream out our impulses going forward.  Won't that be fun?

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