Fidel Castro, a Cuban dictator, revolutionary, and former head of the Cuban government passed away November 25th, 2016. In response to Castro’s demise, President Obama released statements that in turn set many people around the world in a great uproar.
I happen to agree with Obama’s statements made in regarding the death of Castro in efforts of keeping a line of communication open to Cuba, positively setting up President-Elect Trump for his presidency, and effectively offering great amounts of objectivity with an awareness of millions of Cuban lives still being under a dictatorship.
Obama’s statements released to the public received many mixed reactions including a ton of backlash. Obama stated, “ 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.”
With many opinions surrounding Obama’s statements, several public figures stepped forward astoundingly making their voices heard on said statements.
Sen.Ted Cruz stated, “We’re not grieving for the protector of peace or a judicious steward of his people. Today we are thankful. We are thankful, that a man who has imprisoned and tortured, and degraded the lives of so many is no longer with us. He has departed for warmer climes.”
I feel like Cruz’s statements about Castro’s death were what a lot of people—specifically, Cubans wanted to say, but were too afraid to because of the ban on freedom of speech.
Many people like Cruz said Obama’s statements regarding Castro’s passing was ‘pathetic’. I can fully understand and acknowledge their great frustration, but it is imperative that as leader of the free world that Obama walks a fine line when addressing not only important but critical news with such impact.
Even Donald Trump chimed in, as he set off Twitter tweeting, “Fidel Castro is Dead!” Days later at a Miami rally, Trump spoke out stating, ” The president’s one-sided deal with Cuba, and with Cuba, benefits only the Castro regime. People are very unhappy about it, but all of the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done through executive order, which means the next president can reverse them and that I will do,” Trump stated.
Whoopi Goldberg, an actress, comedian, and The View talk show host gives Obama a big thumbs up for what he said about Castro after his death stating, “Diplomatically, if you are trying to keep the doors of communication open and you are trying to keep a flow going, I think that’s the way you do it. Now, we can go the other way and I will say to people… sixty years of dictatorship no freedom of the press, no freedom of the people, no freedom of speech…keep an eye on that because that’s what America will look like if we lose the ability to have these conversations.”
I agree with Obama and Goldberg’s statements simply because Cuban people are still under dictatorship. I think Obama did a wonderful job in not only staying objective, but also being very diplomatic.
Obama is aware that he will be out of office in about a month or so and doesn’t want to tarnish the relationship with Cuba or create any drawbacks in what he has already come to accomplish with the Cuban nation.
Past Cuban troubles and negative relations are more apparent than ever. Remembering a significantly dark time when Cuba and the U.S. were at odds is another reason why Obama’s statements were more than enough.
Specifically, the year of 1962 when U.S. spy planes made a discovery that the Soviet Union had been building missile bases in Cuba.
After former President John F. Kennedy learned of this threat, the U.S. and Russia were at odds for a long 12 days. Kennedy’s proposal to Nikita Khrushchev, former premier of the Soviet Union, to remove U.S. missiles in Turkey in exchange for the de-arming of Cuba was accepted. This, in turn, slightly eased tensions between the U.S. and Russia as the U.S. sought to forgive and formally rebuild alliances with Russia after such destructive turmoil and conflict resulting in a Cold War .
Without, Kennedy’s direct communication with Khrushchev things would have presumingly gotten worse without this proposal.
It is no doubt that history will show Castro’s enormously negative impact on many Cubans lives. His senseless acts of murder and oppression of so many people are absolutely disgusting, but Obama never said he supported Castro’s actions.
Looking back into Obama’s presidency, Obama has worked to establish a better relationship with Cuba by restoring diplomatic relations during his second term in office in efforts to prevent such isolation and independence that Castro had positioned for the Caribbean island.
Obama never sided necessarily or stated his support for Castro’s wrong doings because he is aware that people both in the United States and Cuba were going to hear of his statement(s). Instead, Obama chose his words carefully and I feel like he could not have handled this any better in order to not ruin the relationship that has been established with Cuba.
In Obama’s second term, he was the first United States President since (John) Calvin Coolidge in 1928 to visit Cuba. Obama has accomplished many executive measures like increasing trade and travel. This encompasses removing the long-standing ban held against United States citizens unable to travel to Cuba for whopping sixty years.
It is important that people understand the amount of thought that specifically went into properly addressing the passing of Castro and how Obama had to be extremely critical, yet objective when doing so.
For that reason alone, I do believe that his statements released about Castro’s passing were not in fact pathetic, but quite diplomatic and garnered objectivity with full inclination of current Cuban lives as well as leaving Trump with a good ‘hand off’ so to speak, while also realizing his prior accomplishments made with Cuba building an open form of communication.