Vernuccio’s View: Good Riddance to Fidel Castro

By Frank V. Vernuccio, Esq.

An enfeebled Fidel Castro at  a Cuba Communist Party Central Committee meeting. Credit: The Telegraph (UK)

An enfeebled Fidel Castro at a Cuba Communist Party Central Committee meeting. Credit: The Telegraph (UK)

Fidel Castro violated human rights in almost every way imaginable. He was a key sponsor of international terrorism. His secret police had informants on every block. He imprisoned an extraordinary number of people, some of whom are guilty of nothing more than disagreeing with his policies or simply seeking to leave.  Cuba has the distinction of incarcerating some of the world’s longest-serving political prisoners. He imprisoned homosexuals and transsexuals merely for their sexual preferences. His administration of the island nation was an economic and human rights disaster.

Of most importance to the United States was his alliance with the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.  When Washington sought to overthrow his oppressive regime, which followed Moscow’s philosophical leanings and tyrannical practices, he urged the U.S.S.R. to launch a nuclear strike against America.

President Obama’s odd response to the dictator’s death failed to mention his horrendous human rights record or his hatred for the United States:

“…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…we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family…”

The statement  is in marked contrast to that of President-elect Donald 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, 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…”

Cuba's communist leader Fidel Castro at t Communist Party Central Committee meeting. Credit: The Telegraph (UK)

Cuba’s communist leader Fidel Castro. Credit: The Telegraph (UK)

Mr. Obama’s refusal to acknowledge Fidel’s atrocities has been a consistent in his policy towards Cuba. Just one example: Before the U.S. President’s trip to the island, Newsweek noted: “…his administration has looked to rewrite the history of the Castros’ worst crimes. An example of this was in 2014, when the Obama administration commuted the double life sentence of Gerardo Hernández. Hernández had been in jail for conspiracy to commit murder through his actions related to the 1996 downing of aircraft owned by the anti-Castro nonprofit ‘Brothers to the Rescue.’ Brothers to Rescue is a Miami based organization, formed by Cuban exiles, which advocates against the Castro dictatorship…The objective of the Castro Regime was to destroy relief organization while at the same time taking attention away from a crackdown on a national opposition gathering in Cuba…Hernández was set free by the Obama administration and was returned to Cuba the same day his sentence was commuted. Two days later, on December 19 2014, Obama sought to rewrite the history of the incident, stating in a press conference that “[i]t was a tragic circumstance that ended up collapsing talks that had begun to take place.”

Obama’s opening of relations with Havana without gaining any substantial concessions in human rights, at a time when Russian naval vessels are returning to Cuba, was a betrayal of American principles and national security concerns. No condolences need be sent to Castro’s family or supporters.  The world in general, and the Cuban and American people in particular, gain from the loss of this icon of tyranny.

Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr., J.D. is the editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy & Government and the co-host of the popular WVOX weekly radio show.


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