Florida Senator Marco Rubio rebukes Obama over Castro statement

Considering it an undeserved praise for a ruthless dictator who murdered or imprisoned thousands, stifled the rights of his people and ignored their suffering, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Saturday scolded President Obama’s public statement addressing Fidel Castro’s Thursday passing.

Following the Cuban dictator’s death, Mr. Obama released a statement which read:

“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.” 

Describing Mr. Obama’s statement as pathetic, Rubio tweeted:

Himself a Cuban and the son of parents who escaped Castro’s tyranny, Rubio’s office released its own statement describing the Castro legacy as blood-drenched and harsh, with many persecuted, imprisoned or killed.

Continuing his offensive, Rubio appeared on Fox News over the weekend and called on President Obama to reject sending a representative to the funeral service in Havana.

“I would hope they would send no one to the funeral.  While you may want to open up to Cuba, there’s no reason we should be opening up to Fidel Castro’s legacy of anti-Americanism, of murder, of dictatorship, of imprisonment, of exile, which is what his legacy is all about,” Rubio said during an interview on Fox News.

President-elect Donald Trump also weighed in on the Cuban dictator’s death in relation to normalized relations with the Spanish-speaking country initiated by President Obama, tweeting, “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 deal.”


[The Hill] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via CNN Money]