**Written by Doug Powers
We’ll devote this Sunday open thread to some of the more ridiculous reactions to the death of Fidel Castro (along with whatever else you’d like to talk about).
The lead-off batter is UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who mourned Castro as somebody concerned with social justice and climate change. You can’t make this stuff up:
Speaking on behalf of the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this morning extended condolences to the Cuban people and to the family of former President Fidel Castro Ruz, who passed away overnight at the age of 90.
“At this time of national mourning, I offer the support of the United Nations to work alongside the people of the island,” Mr. Ban told reporters in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, where he is attending the Global Sustainable Transport Conference. He offered his particular condolences to Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz.
“Under former President Castro, Cuba made advances in the fields of education literacy and health. I hope that Cuba will continue to advance on a path of reform and greater prosperity,” the Secretary-General concluded.
A statement issued later in the day by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson in New York noted that former President Castro was an emblematic figure of the Cuban revolution, prominent in Latin America and influential in world affairs.
“As Prime Minister, President, Commander of the Cuban Armed Forces and First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, his role at the helm of Cuba spanned nearly 50 years, during which he left a major imprint on his country and on global politics,” the statement said, adding: “His revolutionary ideals left few indifferent. He was a strong voice for social justice in global discussions at the UN General Assembly and international and regional forums.”
In case anybody ever wondered how a country like Iran ended up with a chair on a women’s rights commission at the United Nations, there’s just part of the reason.
I wish Moon would have personally gone to Little Havana in Miami to tell the Cuban exiles there who were celebrating yesterday how much Castro did for social justice and prosperity.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement is indescribably insulting to victims of Castro’s brutality:
“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.
“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.
“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”
Castro was so beloved by his people that countless Cubans were willing to risk death on rafts in the ocean to escape his awesomeness.
The statement from the Obama White House sets a new standard for mealy-mouthed ambiguity:
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.
Obama: “The countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives.”
Imprisoned dissidents: “Well, that’s one way to put it.”
The iceberg the Titanic hit “altered the course of individuals lives” too.
Secretary of State John Kerry said Castro “played an outsized role” in the lives of many. Yeah, he really said that:
We extend our condolences to the Cuban people today as they mourn the passing of Fidel Castro. Over more than half a century, he played an outsized role in their lives, and he influenced the direction of regional, even global affairs.
As our two countries continue to move forward on the process of normalization — restoring the economic, diplomatic and cultural ties severed by a troubled past — we do so in a spirit of friendship and with an earnest desire not to ignore history but to write a new and better future for our two peoples.
The United States reaffirms its support for deepening our engagement with the Cuban people now and in coming years.
Kerry will do anything to keep his dream of having the biggest yacht slip in Varadero alive.
Former President Jimmy Carter blasted Castro’s lack of moral and ethical principles. Oh wait, that was what Jimmy said about Trump — Carter had much nicer things to say about the Cuba’s late communist dictator:
Rosalynn and I share our sympathies with the Castro family and the Cuban people on the death of Fidel Castro. We remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country. We wish the Cuban citizens peace and prosperity in the years ahead.
Lib “journalists” also did their part to powder puff Castro’s life as best they could. Here’s a parade of “sure, he did some horrible things, BUT…”
Meanwhile, Donald Trump was among those who kept it real:
A formal statement followed, blasting Castro. “Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,” Trump said.
“While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve,” Trump said.
Marco Rubio ripped Castro and the world leaders who praised him.
Somebody should tell Ban Ki-moon, Obama, Kerry, Carter, Trudeau and the lefty media who found ways to directly or indirectly compliment Castro that he was against transgender bathrooms, and maybe that would cause them to mention more about his true legacy:
He created a repressive state that rigidly controlled the arts, the press, the airwaves. An efficient secret police force was aided by neighborhood spies and pro-government mobs that attacked those who dared to call for democratic change. Cultural enemies were vulnerable, too; well into the 1970s, Castro was imprisoning gays and long-haired young people in work camps.
By 1994, Castro’s government was in its most perilous state since the days of the Bay of Pigs. Several small riots erupted, and thousands of Cubans hurled themselves lemming-like into the sea on flimsy rafts of plywood and inner tubes, praying to catch a lucky current to Miami.
When Cuban government ships spotted a tugboat full of refugees headed for Florida on July 13, 1994, they blasted it to pieces with high-pressure fire hoses. “Our tugboat started taking on water,” recounted one of the survivors, María Victoria García. “We shouted to the crewmen on the boat, ‘Look at the children! You’re going to kill them!’ And they said, ‘Let them die! Let them die!’ ” Forty-one of the refugees did.
Or “altered the course of individuals lives” as the White House put it.
**Written by Doug Powers