By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Saturday, November 26, 2016, long-time Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, died at the age of 90.
US Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) said, “While I’m sure some on the left will try to praise Fidel Castro, his death is not a time for praise or character rehabilitation. It is, rather, a time to remember the countless people he has killed and imprisoned because they dared to breathe the air of freedom.”
State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) said, “Fidel’s death closes a long, evil chapter for Cuba and the Western Hemisphere. May the Cuban people move quickly toward freedom, free enterprise, and individual liberties.”
Zeigler said, “There is an Alabama connection here, The Port of Mobile has the potential to quickly become a trading partner with a new, free Cuba and to have one of the first cruise lines that will include Havana as a port of call. My family and I were blessed to be on the maiden voyage of Mobile’s new cruise ship on Nov. 9. As we passed west of Cuba headed to Cozumel, I thought about how I and many others would like to visit Cuba in our lifetimes. Now, that may quickly become a reality.”
Auditor Zeigler said, “My father, long-time Mayor of Oak Grove, Alabama, Bloise Zeigler went to Cuba twice on Christian missions. He had a real heart for the good people of Cuba. Now, the gospel of Christ and the opportunities of freedom may soon flow freely to the Cuba people. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: ‘Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.’””
President-elect J. Donald Trump (R) said in a statement, “Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.” “Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights. 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, “Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban-Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”
The brutal dictator overthrew the previous dictator in the 1950s, then made over Cuba’s economy and society on Marxist principles, with backing from the Soviet Union. An estimated 140,000 Cubans were killed and 1.5 million fled the country, many more were imprisoned or persecuted for running afoul of the brutal Communist regime.
US Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) wrote in a statement: “Fidel Castro seized power promising to bring freedom and prosperity to Cuba, but his communist regime turned it into an impoverished island prison. Over six decades, millions of Cubans were forced to flee their own country, and those accused of opposing the regime were routinely jailed and even killed.”
Sen. Rubio said, “Sadly, Fidel Castro’s death does not mean freedom for the Cuban people or justice for the democratic activists, religious leaders, and political opponents he and his brother have jailed and persecuted. The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not. And one thing is clear, history will not absolve Fidel Castro; it will remember him as an evil, murderous dictator who inflicted misery and suffering on his own people.”
Sen. Rubio concluded, “The future of Cuba ultimately remains in the hands of the Cuban people, and now more than ever Congress and the new administration must stand with them against their brutal rulers and support their struggle for freedom and basic human rights.”