Allahpundit noted portions of this yesterday after the news of Castro’s death first broke, but if you thought Barack Obama’s comments on the dictator were rather milquetoast that was nothing compared to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. After talking about how he was “deeply saddened” at Castro’s passing, he went on to describe how he was a “larger-than-life leader who made significant improvements to Cuba’s education and health-care systems.”
The pushback on that began almost immediately. One of the first out of the gate was Marco Rubio.
Is this a real statement or a parody? Because if this is a real statement from the PM of Canada it is shameful & embarrassing. https://t.co/lFXeqU7Ws0
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 26, 2016
The Toronto Star reported that it wasn’t just criticism from abroad. Right at home in Canada there were opponents of Trudeau lighting into him.
Conservative leadership hopeful Lisa Raitt wrote on Facebook that Trudeau should be ashamed of himself after his remarks.
“With those words, Justin Trudeau has placed himself on the wrong side of history — against the millions of Cubans yearning for freedom. The prime minister should be ashamed of himself. He must retract this statement and apologize,” she wrote.
Others running to be party leader also weighed in, including Maxime Bernier and Kellie Leitch.
It took a while, but the PM seemed to eventually notice that much of the world was rather aghast at his muted response. So when the opportunity came to take some follow-up questions, he made sure to let everyone know that he gets it. (Jerusalem Post)
On Sunday, Trudeau said the statement was simply meant “to recognize the passing of a former head of state” of a country that Canada had longstanding ties with, and not to gloss over unflattering history.
“The fact is Fidel Castro had a deep and lasting impact on the Cuban people,” Trudeau told reporters in a televised news conference at a Madagascar Francophonie summit.
“He certainly was a polarizing figure and there certainly were significant concerns around human rights, that’s something I’m open about and that I’ve highlighted.”
“Unflattering history?” Is that what the kids are calling it these days? And his choice of clarification was to say that he’s aware that there were significant concerns around human rights. Yes, I suppose one might have significant concerns over lining up your political opponents in a yard without benefit of a trial and gunning them down. And that’s not to mention the fact that he murdered some unknown number of people with his own hands. His prisons remain full of horrible criminals such as nuns who dared to talk about religion and teachers who had the temerity to suggest that people might have the right to express their own opinions.
So given all of this feedback, did Trudeau come up with anything critical to say about Castro? Yes… once the right question was put to him.
Asked whether he thought Castro was a dictator, Trudeau said: “Yes.”
Was he a dictator?
Well, it’s a start, anyway. Baby steps, Mr. Prime Minister. You’ll get there eventually.
But before we get too judgemental on Canada’s leader, it would be remiss of me not to note that the DNC hasn’t exactly been standing strong on the subject either. Peter Hasson at the Daily Caller has the disturbing details.
Torn between its establishment wing — which cheered on Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign — and an increasingly frustrated socialist wing, the Democratic party took no official position on the death of a murderous tyrant who shamelessly trampled human rights in the name of socialism.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did offer a strong statement rebuking Castro. But the DNC, interim DNC chair Donna Brazile and the two men vying to replace her — Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and former Gov. Howard Dean — all remained silent on the subject of Castro’s death. Socialist Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders initially stayed silent on Castro’s death, later saying would “not praise Fidel Castro” after being pressed by ABC News’ Martha Raddatz.
Everything old is new again and apparently socialism is all the rage in some quarters. Living in a society which is ostensibly organized on the principles of law an order it’s amazing that anyone could reflect on Castro’s passing without being appalled at the legacy of murder, torture and oppression. But it’s yet again an opportunity to point out that this is how socialism always ends.