Prince Harry found himself in an awkward position when he was forced to participate in a moment of silence to mark the death of Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro. The incident occurred on Saturday when the prince was visiting the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. The royal is currently in the middle of a 15-day tour of the Caribbean and attended a drinks reception where he was the guest of honor to present Duke of Edinburgh awards to young people, Daily Mail reports.
St. Vincent Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne was hosting the event and asked his guests to observe the death of Fidel Castrol with a moment of silence, something that a source close to Prince Harry says wasn’t planned in advance.
According to Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke, forcing Prince Harry to join the the moment of silence was “very unfair'” and it’s something that the government should attest to as being unacceptable.
“Castro was a murderous dictator. He is dead, and good riddance,” Shelbrooke said.
Shelbrooke continued that it’s “very unfair to put pressure on members of the Royal Family to take part in this kind of tribute,” emphasizing that “Prince Harry shouldn’t be put in this position. I think it would be desirable, through the usual diplomatic channels, to make sure this kind of thing does not happen again where Royals are put in this situation.”
‘Awkward moment’ for Prince Harry in minute’s silence for Fidel Castro https://t.co/aa65xJjIbd
— The Guardian (@guardian) November 27, 2016
Prince Harry had to endure tributes made to the widely criticized Cuban leader known for human rights abuses during his rule. The prince was described as staring straight ahead showing no expression during the silence that lasted for about 20 seconds.
Ralph Gonsalves, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister, called Castro a “good friend of the island.” He told how the controversial Cuban dictator had invested in St. Vincent and that they had been trading partners for decades.
Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said Prince Harry conducted himself admirably for being put in an “awkward” situation while traveling abroad. Fabricant admits he’s no fan of Castro, whom he summed up as a “tyrant,” but he was impressed with the prince’s demeanor at the reception in St. Vincent.
“It must have been an awkward moment for him but hey, what else could he do?” Fabricant said.
No official statements from Queen Elizabeth or Prime Minister Theresa May have been released regarding the death of Fidel Castro. Kensington Palace declined to comment.
Snopes reports that Fidel Castro died on November 25 at the age of 90. He had been ill for quite some time after he was diagnosed in 2006 with diverticulitis. He resigned as dictator 2008, with his brother, Raul, taking over.
— Rob Vaughan (@robvaughan_fca) November 27, 2016
While the U.K. hasn’t issued a formal statement in response to the Cuban leader’s death, many leaders around the world are reacting. Some are criticizing President Obama in the United States for his statement.
“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.
“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.”
Members of the British royal family don’t engage in political issues, which is why Prince Harry being forced to participate in a moment of silence to mark Fidel Castro’s death is viewed as wrong.
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