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October 27, 2017 8:06 pm

UNBC Prof. Reacts to Castro’s Passing

Saturday, November 26, 2016 @ 10:17 AM

Prince George, B.C. –  Reaction today to the death of long-time Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Cuban state media announced his passing last night at the age of 90.

Photo courtesy BBC

Photo courtesy BBC

“Well certainly it’s not unexpected, he’d been sick for a number of years now and sort of exited the scene in terms of being leader of Cuba and he’d passed that on to his brother Raul but certainly a pivotal figure in the history of Cuba and the history of this hemisphere if not the world,” says UNBC political science prof. Dr. Gary Wilson.

“Because he really was a thorn in the side of the United States for so many years as he led the communist revolution. He was the bridgehead for communism in the Americas and during the Cold War this was really, really important. We all know about the Cuban Missile Crisis and these others things that happened while he was in power.”

Despite his “thorny” relationship with the U.S. he says Castro’s relationship with Canada was much different.

“Pierre Trudeau was one of the first if not the first western liberal democratic leader to actually visit Castro in Cuba in the 1970s. It certainly broke with the tradition of the time which was to try and isolate Castro and Cuba.”

But Wilson says it’s important people realize Cuba under Castro was “not a nice, democratic regime where opposition was allowed.”

“It was a communist regime and opponents were punished and put in jail so it wasn’t a free society.”

More than anything, he acknowledges Castro will go down as one of the most divisive figures of our time.

“That’s the case with any kind of revolutionary figure – one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter and it really depends just where you are within the context right?” he says.

“If you’re a Cuban who was relatively wealthy in the 1950s, owned property and everything and then had to flee because the communists came to power and you lost all of that, then I’m sure you wouldn’t feel too warmly towards Castro.

“But if you’re a left-wing revolutionary who is opposed to many of the things the U.S. is doing in Central and Latin America, then you see Castro as more of a kind of person who pokes his finger in the eye of the U.S. repeatedly and you celebrate that.”


Donald Trump’s initial public comment about Fidel Castro’s death; “Fidel Castro is dead!” Then later on when Donald’s handlers prepared a fuller statement; “Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades,” an official Trump statement said. “Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”

Then a more “diplomatic” President Barack Obama paints a picture of condolence to the Cuban people, and more importantly a way forward; towards a more peaceful and friendlier USA – Cuban relationship: “At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people,” the president said. 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.”

Barack Obama goes on to state; “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.”

So the question needs to be asked; which presidential public statement is more diplomatic and positive? Which public comment inspires hope and peace for a future relationship between the two countries moving forward?

    Although Trump is a fine one to talk about peace and stability, Obama is a fine one to talk when he ignores blatant disregard of human rights under Castro.

Castro was a brutal murderous dictator and Trudeau should resign because of the accolades he gave to that despot.

People criticize Trump for his wall and immigration policies but then ignore Castro’s absolute dictatorship. How many thousands have drowned trying to escape. How many thousands have disappeared or been jailed for trying to escape or oppose the murderous dictatorship?

There is celebration of his death in Miami and rightly so.

    Today’s fun activity will be reading and listening to the feeble comments from those on the “left”, as they attempt to minimize Justin’s pathetic and embarrassing statement!

    “On behalf of all Canadians…”?

    Umm, er, eh, sorry Justin, not on behalf of me!

    What a moron!

      You’re the moron!

      You were not elected by anyone. Trudeau was. He has the right and the duty to speak on behalf of Canadians, whether you as an individual like it or not.

      You do not!

      um, er, ah, gopg2015, now you’ve gone, er um and uh hurt my ah feelings!

      Can I uh, er, ah, um, please get a hug?

      I’d be willing to bet dimes to dollars that you would suggest that Trump doesn’t speak for all Americans, and yet here you are stating that Trudope speaks for me, haha!

      No, Trudeau has the right to speak on behalf of himself as the leader of the liberal party of Canada unless a resolution is passed in parliament on the matter. If parliament passes a motion praising the life of Castro then they can own it too.

      For the rest of Canada that values free enterprise, free speech, anti monopoly economics, and a middle class equal in oportunity based on merit… We have the right to our own opinions on the matter.

      Not on behalf of me either. What an embarrassment for the leader of a free country, making a statement that we, as Canadians, mourn the loss of a dicktator. He may do some things right, but this was a real stupid statement to make.

      gopg2015, Justin’s statement reads the following:

      “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.”

      Sophie who??

      Exactly who the heck is Sophie to speak for all Canadians? She is, in spite of her self declared importance, a NOBODY with NO official duties!

gopg2015 so you are denying castro was a murderous dictator then. Maybe you can find a crying room somewhere.

Trudeau does not speak for Canadians he only speaks for his own agenda.

    No I am not. You are forgetting who he replaced

    from wikipdia

    Batista Zaldívar (January 16, 1901 – August 6, 1973) was the elected President of Cuba from 1940 to 1944, and dictator from 1952 to 1959, before being overthrown during the Cuban Revolution.

    Batista initially rose to power as part of the 1933 Revolt of the Sergeants that overthrew the authoritarian rule of Gerardo Machado. He then appointed himself chief of the armed forces, with the rank of colonel, and effectively controlled the five-member Presidency. He maintained this control through a string of puppet presidents until 1940, when he was himself elected President of Cuba on a populist platform.

    He then instated the 1940 Constitution of Cuba, considered progressive for its time, and served until 1944. After finishing his term he lived in the United States, returning to Cuba to run for president in 1952. Facing certain electoral defeat, he led a military coup that preempted the election.

    Back in power, Batista suspended the 1940 Constitution and revoked most political liberties, including the right to strike. He then aligned with the wealthiest landowners who owned the largest sugar plantations, and presided over a stagnating economy that widened the gap between rich and poor Cubans.

    Batista’s increasingly corrupt and repressive government then began to systematically profit from the exploitation of Cuba’s commercial interests, by negotiating lucrative relationships with the American Mafia, who controlled the drug, gambling, and prostitution businesses in Havana, and with large US-based multinationals who were awarded lucrative contracts.”

    How easily you forget!!!!

      Ya one murderous dictatorship replaced by another murderous dictatorship. It is you denying that. You most likely have a Che t-shirt also.

      If Trudeau goes to the funeral he is validating the murderous dictator. Lots of celebration in Miami today.

      Why are you not living in Cuba?

      What part of my post “No I am not” can you not read?

      You have no respect for people of truth!!!

      “people or truth”!!!

    And who the hell are you? It is the way we do business in Canada.

    As you would say, you do not like it, move. ;-)

Cuba runs consistent trade deficits as a result of low productivity and dependence on food imports. Cuba mainly exports nickel, cane sugar, cigars, fuel, beverages, metallic ores, fish, cement, oil and thyroid extract. Cuba mainly imports food, cereals, fuel, diesel engines, vehicles, motor parts and vegetable oils. Cuba’s main trading partners are Venezuela, China, Canada, Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, the United States, México, Italy, France, Germany and Russia. This page provides – Cuba Balance of Trade – actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. Cuba Balance of Trade – actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases – was last updated on November of 2016.

    What Batista exported to the USA was crime and imported US$ via tourism.

    Trudeau is not going to let 19th century ideology mindlock that some morons exhibit here on a daily basis . Trudeau is taking care of business . Walls and other rightie lunacies they exhibit don’t put money on the table . Go out side righties , shake your fists at the clouds and leave diplomacy to the adults in the room like Trudeau .

      “some morons exhibit here on a daily basis”

      Remember, it is displayed on most sites that allow comments. It is who we have become.

      Trudeau is an “adult in the room”? Wow. This ranks as one of your most bizarre statements( out of many)in some time. Stop huffing glue before you post.

For his fist presidency Batista was supported by the Democratic Socialist Coalition which included Julio Antonio Mella’s Communist Party.

So Communist dictators controlled Cuba for longer than just Castro’s reign.

This is a communist dictator that wanted to bring soviet nuclear missiles off Florida’s shores so he could blackmail America with death and destruction. He killed his own people for any expressions of free will, held an entire country hostage for five decades, and routinely sent his most crazed criminals and mentally ill on refugee boats to Florida.

Anyone celebrating his life is a moron. We should all celebrate that he is now finally gone from this world. Trudeau speaks for himself and communist compatriots only when he sends his condolences for Castro as a friend. If Castro could have started a nuclear ww3 than he would have. As a typical communist he would scorch the earth for not getting his way and its rich to see people defend him as a man of peace… A man who took everything from others simply because they were successful and built his nation around equality in poverty.

I say good riddance to the likes of Castro, and hopefully moving forward the damage he did to Cuban society can be repaired in time.

    Killed or jailed leaders of the opposition if they got too much support. Similar any journalists whose stories criticizing the government gained traction.

    Castro in Cuba circa 1960 or Putin in Russia today?

    Sought to the overthrow the governments in neighbouring countries through invasion and gorilla warfare.

    Castro in Central and South America and Africa in the 60’s or Putin in Ukraine with an eye on the Baltic states today?

    Threaten world peace with nuclear weapons.

    Castro and Khrushchev in 63 or Putin threatening Western Europe today?

    Kinda like deja vu all over again with these two. The only difference is that you say good riddance to one and have a huge man crush on the other. Beards don’t float your boat?

      ‘Killed or jailed leaders of the opposition if they got too much support. Similar any journalists whose stories criticizing the government gained traction’.

      — On two different scales. Castro was absolute, while Putin is more covert and mostly targeted to oligarchic and bolshivik related opinion makers with the hopes of fostering in a sovereign democratic society. Putin also raises up the church in Russia after the bolshiviks killed 60 million Russians for their religion and destroyed the churchs burning them all to the ground. Cuba and Russia have entirely different histories. Attacking the media is never good… but who does the media represent in specific cases? Do they investigate for the good of the nation… or do they create the news to protect the elites?

      ‘Sought to the overthrow the governments in neighbouring countries through invasion and gorilla warfare.

      Castro in Central and South America and Africa in the 60’s or Putin in Ukraine with an eye on the Baltic states today?’

      — Completely different situations. Castro was looking to overthrow elected governments in democracies for which his nation had little historical political connections and willing to commit mass atrocities in the process.

      Where as Putin was defending ethnic Russians from genocide at the hands of a regime that took power in an American (and Soros) funded coup that installed Shakasvilli as leader of Odessa province (a war criminal from his days as president of Georgia, where he also attacked Russia). The Kiev coup government promptly banned the Russian language and started a mass purge of Russians (40% of the population and a majority in the East and South, with a 400 year connection to Ukraine as colonial masters with the early Rus Empire capital city being Kiev itself… Shakasvilli then started the civil war by using paid thugs to attack peaceful Russian protests against the coup, and chasing them into the unions trades building and burning them all alive… Russian majority areas then voted in overwhelming majorities to separate from the genocidal threat of Kiev). I think it is fantasy to think Putin will invade the Baltics anytime in our lifetimes.

      So why is the west initiating coups in countries neighboring Russia? How does this promote peace?


      ‘Threaten world peace with nuclear weapons.

      Castro and Khrushchev in 63 or Putin threatening Western Europe today?’

      — 63′ threatened world peace with the ability to launch a successful first strike and the intentions to follow through with it.

      Russia today operates by the same mutually assured destruction philosophy as America and deployments in Europe by both nations fit that tit for tat deployment strategy. Expecting Russia to leave itself open and vulnerable because of American exceptionalism is the kind of naiveity that leads to miscalculations of superiority that can land us in a war no one wins.

      Putin has showed incredible restraint in light of American actions in Syria funding the ‘good’ terrorists, and the American inspired coups on its doorstep in places like Ukraine, and the trade embargo of Obama on Russia. Its been a huge blow to the credibility of the American elite running the show.

      BTW Castro was originally a CIA operative. His whole life he regularly attended the Council of Foreign Relations meetings in NYC. The CIA even betrayed their own president in the Bay of Pigs to protect Castro, using him as a pawn for huge budgets to invest in Central America for fascist regimes that would facilitate the CIA drug trade. A president was killed to protect their man in Havana.

      So Putin is an acceptable dictator because he shows “restraint” in not killing opposition leaders and journalists unless they pose an immediate challenge to his “leadership” even if they are living in London or other parts of the globe.

      Further he is a prince when specifically targeting hospitals in Allepo uses nice weapons like barrel bombs over and over again when he could just as easily solve the problem with one fell swoop with a tsar bomba.

      No matter how you cut it Castro and Putin are dictators cut from the same cloth.

      On a side note I wonder how big a target Stanislav Belkovsky has on his back?

      youtube.com/watch?v=dunlahjKvFg Creepy guy that I would want nowhere near my kids.

      JIC you don’t have this site bookmarked. A site that tells the real story that the msm will not. After all it’s American most trusted alt-right news source.

As I stated earlier, today’s fun activity will be reading and listening to the feeble comments from those on the “left”, as they attempt to minimize Justin’s pathetic and embarrassing statement!

While they try their hardest, it’s absolutely no surprise whatsoever that condemnation of Justin is coming not just from us here in Canada, but also from many other parts of the globe!

gog2015 and ataloss, I’m absolutely fine with you guys thinking me a moron for my statement! I’m sure that you are fine with me and the rest of the world’s intelligent people (if I may be so bold as to speak for them, haha) thinking that anybody defending Justin is a complete and utter idiot!

Hope that you idiots aren’t offended by what us morons think of you!

Group HUG!

    I’m waiting for SNL to do a skit on this one. Can’t wait!

My first comment on this discussion thread ended with me asking two questions, which still remain unanswered;

1. Which presidential public statement is more diplomatic and positive, Donald Trump’s or Barack Obama’s?
2. Which public comment inspires hope and peace for a future relationship between the two countries moving forward?

There are indeed such stark differences between the two Leaders comments on the death of Cuba’s Fidel Castro, that it reminds me of an old Cherokee proverb:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

I believe this to be true in who we feed and support, as an extension to ourselves, in our politics and leaders as well. Which party and leader predominantly represents the good in us, and which predominantly represents the evil in us. Judging by the results of the US election, and by Donald Trump’s own words, to me it is quite obvious which wolf is winning!

    I would think that you would be far more concerned about the way the Prime Minister of OUR country has now solidified his position as the biggest joke on the planet, by insulting each and every victim and family that has suffered under the tyranny of the Castro regime!

    Trudeau Sr. was famous for his rude 1 finger salute to British Columbians! Trudeau Jr. has now done his daddy one better by giving a massive 1 finger salute to all those that suffered under Castro!

    Being human quite that is quite name for someone who seems to support a murderous dictator

    Anyhow here is the right response, from Rona Ambrose

    With the passing of Fidel Castro, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Cuba who continue to endure his long and oppressive regime, even after his death. Under his rule, thousands were impoverished, thousands were imprisoned and executed, and free speech, thought and assembly were curtailed or banned, all to live up to his version of ‘socialism’.
    Canada and the Cuban people have had a long and warm friendship over many years. With today’s news, my hope is that a brighter day will be coming for the Cuban people, where they may live in freedom and where democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are enshrined.

Twitter having fun with our dear leader, he is an embarrassment to Canada

Today we mourn painter and animal rights activist, Adolf Hitler. His death also highlights the need for suicide awareness”#TrudeauEulogies

It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of Saddam Hussein. His advancements in chemical research live on. #trudeaueulogies

‘While a controversial figure, Mao Zedong is remembered for promoting gender equality & improving education & healthcare’ #trudeaueulogies

Ghengis Khan brought his culture and leadership to countless people. #TrudeauEulogies

There are many more.

Twitter has nothing trending liemutt . What’s the hashtag? I’ve seen lots of Castro stuff today . Where’s this Trudeau stuff ? On FAs account ? I’ve yet to go that deep . Yuk .

    Okay . I’ve read some of that feed . I believe you have found your home .

No solar panels where hurt.

Anyone who mourns the passing of this murdering communist dictator needs their head read big time. Especially the self described feminist Liberal mouthpiece in Ottawa who is definitely not speaking for the people of Canada when he pays tribute to the Cuban thugs.
Like a political science professor knows anything about the lives of the Cuban people? Him and Justin should go to Miami and spout their lines.

I am amazed at the comments from some regarding Castro.
I have visited Cuba. I found the people there were very proud of the Revolution and expressed a genuine fondness for Castro. And disgust at the violent US movies and TV shows.

Certainly the conduct of the American companies in many Latin American and South American countries was, I believe, disgraceful. Their greed and the poverty people lived with led to the Revolution.

The US would have people believe Castor was a villain, but I don’t believe everything that the US gov’t spouts.
They meddle in other countries (Chile: Allende; CIA: EL Salvadore; Canada; Avro Arrow?)

One thing I know is that travel insurance in Cuba is available at the airport for 4 pesos a day. all you have to do is show your passport and pay your pesos and you’re covered. No questions asked. Google it if you want to check it out and the reviews it gets.
It’s a lot better than going to the US, especially with a pre-existing condition. Some insurance companies have made our news when they’ve found a way to avoid paying.
I have a friend who had an aneurysm that was treated with a stent. He showed me the bill; it was over $100,000,000. BCAA negotiated it down to $650,000.

Greed. It’s the American way.
And anybody who goes against them is a “brutal murderous dictator”.

    I guess you missed the part where Cuba is a communist murderous dictatorship and people have no rights or freedoms.

    Oh by the way Castro during the revolution lied to the people. He told the people I will set you free but instead turned the country into a violent communist dictatorship.

    If the US is so bad then tell me why Cubans risk it all to get over to the US along with millions all over the world. Yes it has warts but what system would you rather live under?

    Is there anything equivalent to Opinion 250 in Cuba? Heck do people even have unrestricted access to the internet?

    Are you a product of our biased left university system?

    Anyone still willing to admit voting for him?

      I voted for a Liberal candidate. You got a problem with that? You don’t like the plurality of our system, you can always move. I see an opening in Cuba just came up.

      That being said Trudeau doesn’t speak for me as far as Castro’s death goes. Trudeau can say he speaks for all Canadians as much as he wants; that doesn’t make it so in reality.

      And you continue to miss the point that it was that way before Castro under Batista.

      Enlighten yourself and read some articles around the time of Batista and Castro’s revolution. There are reasons why people revolt.

      Try the Spokane Daily Chronicle of Feb 23, 24 & 25, 1959 front pages articles by Robert Berrellez.

      What few people forget is that there are at least two kinds of Cubans who fled to Florida as well as South American countries. Those who fled because they were part of the Batista regime, including Batista himself, as well as those who fled Castro’s regime when things did not improve enough for them.

      We really do not know how many committed atrocities during Batista’s reign and were able to flee as did some of the Nazi’s less than 2 decades before them.

      The US hatred of communism and even socialism, especially at that time, did not help much. They supported many right wing dictators not only in South America, but all over the world and it has caused them more problems ever since.

Batista was a nasty dictator who got in bed with the Mafia and took bribes from American companies to act against the best interest of his people. Overthrowing him was a fine thing to do. But having overthrown him, Castro betrayed the revolution by instituting his own dictatorship and following economic policies that held back the development of Cuba’s economy. Those who look back with nostalgia on the Batista regime are fools; so are those who think that Castro was a hero.

Some more history of the unique relationship between Cuba and the USA.

The tradition of Cuban political exiles coming to the United States began during the nineteenth century, when Spain still ruled the island. The first exiles arrived in 1823. Many of them hoped that the United States would annex Cuba, and they supported a failed Cuban revolt against Spain in 1867.

During the 1890’s, the exiled Cuban nationalist leader José Martí organized a second revolt and sought the support of thousands of fellow Cuban exiles in New York and Florida. During the Spanish-American War of 1898, exiles fought on the American side but opposed the Platt Amendment of 1902 that afterwards turned Cuba into a protectorate of the United States.

After Cuba finally won its full independence, its government became an oppressive dictatorship. During the late 1920’s, Cuban exiles opposed to the government used Miami as a base to plot its overthrow in favour of democratic government.

In 1959, a communist movement led by Fidel Castro overthrew the government of Fulgencio Batista to take power in Cuba. Castro immediately nationalized businesses and large land holdings, while attacking potential political opponents among the wealthy, entrepreneurs, and Batista supporters. Cubans who did not unconditionally support Castro appeared in media portrayals as enemies of the revolution.

As Cubans had often done during past periods of political trouble, many sought temporary exile in the United States. These people were primarily of Cuba’s elite: executives and owners of firms, big merchants, sugar mill owners, cattlemen, representatives of foreign companies, and professionals.

Unlike the past wave, this group of immigrants benefited from the political atmosphere in the United States fostered by the Cold War. Both the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations enthusiastically supported Castro’s enemies as anticommunist freedom fighters. Remember, this was shortly after the McCarthy era.

source = immigrationtounitedstates.org/453-cuban-immigrants.html

    Notice that the nature of Batista’s regime is not even mentioned. It is, after all, a US web site.

    Gopg2015 in your rewrite of Cuban history you left out the part of murder, executions, jailing of thousands and Castro’s initial lying to the Cuban’s

    Why did Castro force a tyrannical oppressive dictatorship on the Cuban’s? Oh gee maybe power and greed just like his predecessor.

    Why do Cuban’s have no freedom of movement?

    In your rewrite you mention the wealthy well Castro is estimated to have been worth about 900 mullion and having some very nice digs while his people suffered from poverty. Well that makes him a typical communist, some more equal than others.

    It interests me you being a defender and fan of a tyrannical murderous dictator and seemly over looking that inescapable fact.

    Why have you not moved there if so utopian in your rose covered eyes.

    Castro stated he hated communism and was not a communist so I guess the source is wrong

1. Cuba is one of the most popular international vacation destinations for Canadians, and has been for many, many, years.

2. Canada and Mexico are the two Countries that have had ties with Cuba since the 1959 revolution.

3. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker defined Canada’s position regarding economic relations with Cuba.

4. We supported the US Bay of Pigs attack on Cuba, and we also supported the blockade of Cuba during the missile crisis.

Seems we have a lot of hyperbole about Castro and Cuba now that Castro is dead, however we have been a supporter of this regime, and have been trading with it since the revolution, and this support came from both the Conservative, and Liberal Governments.

Have a nice day.

1.2 million Canadians visit Cuba annually. 40% of the visitors to Cuba, are Canadians.

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