Justin Trudeau’s Castro statement has resulted in harsh criticism from the internet. He released the statement following the former Cuban president’s death on Friday. Unlike other world leaders who used Castro’s death to speak against his tyrannical dictatorship, Trudeau instead chose to honor him.
The statement was posted on Trudeau’s website and praised Castro’s leadership skills.
“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.
“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.”
He also cited the long friendship his father enjoyed with the Cuban revolutionary. Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre, served as Canada’s prime minister from April 20, 1968 to June 4, 1979, and again from March 3, 1980 to June 30, 1984, during which time he became friends with Fidel Castro. The former Cuban president even served as an honorary pallbearer at the elder Trudeau’s funeral.
The internet has recently been captivated by the Canadian prime minister, but that infatuation has now ended. While Trudeau described the “deep and lasting affection” the Cuban people have for their deceased leader, Fidel Castro is viewed by most of the world as a vindictive tyrant. His 47 years of rule were marked by repeated human rights violations. More than a million political refugees fled communist Cuba following Castro’s communist takeover of the country. The United States has long had a strained relationship with Cuba, severing ties with the communist state during the Cold War and only reinstating diplomatic relations in 2015.
Unlike the United States, Canada has nurtured a friendly relationship with Cuba since the 18th century. Canadians make up approximately 40 percent of Cuban’s annual tourist population. While the two nations have always been on good terms and this might account for some of Trudeau’s statement, other Canadian leaders think that his overwhelming praise goes too far.
According to CNN, several prominent figures have taken a stance against Trudeau’s statement.
Canadian politician Maxime Bernier said that Trudeau “didn’t know the difference between ‘longest serving president’ and ‘dictator.'” Cuban-American senator Marco Rubio denounced Justin Trudeau’s statement as “shameful and embarrassing” on Twitter. American political scientist Ian Bremmer also joined in the Twitter attacks saying that “Cuban citizens and exiles deserve better.”
Critics have expressed concern that Trudeau’s praise of Castro ignores his long history of human rights violations. While Cuba is officially mourning the death of the former president, Cuban exiles in the United States are celebrating Castro’s passing, making their true feelings for the dictator known.
Yahoo reported that the citizens of Florida’s Little Havana spent the weekend celebrating, chanting “Fidel, you tyrant, take your brother too!” in reference to Fidel Castro’s younger brother, Raul, Cuba’s current president.
Until now, Prime Minister Trudeau has been a popular figure on the internet, admired for his good looks and charm. His praise of Castro, however, has sparked backlash from people all over the world. Twitter users responded to the statement with the hashtag #TrudeauEulogies which imagines what Castro would say of other hated world leaders.
The internet is not happy with Prime Minister Trudeau and is making no secret of the fact. Conspiracy theorists have even gone so far as to spread a theory that Trudeau is Castro’s biological son. While HeatStreet quickly shut down the rumor, its existence is proof of just how far Trudeau has fallen in the eyes of the internet.
While worldwide criticism caused Trudeau to admit that Castro was a dictator with a dark history of human rights violations, he has stood by his description of him as a “remarkable leader.”
The BBC reported that Trudeau will not be attending Castro’s funeral to be held later this week.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]