By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, November 21, 2016, U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) expressed disappointment in President Barack H. Obama’s response to the news that longtime Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro has died.
Rep. Roby’s comments were made in an email to constituents. Roby wrote, “As you’re probably aware, we started this past weekend off with some big news: Cuban dictator: Fidel Castro Died. For many years, Castro used his absolute power to force the failed idea of Communism upon his people, and many suffered as a result. So, so many people who yearned to be free experienced systemic oppression and brutality at the hand of this man.”
Congresswoman Roby said, “It was disappointing but not surprising to see President Obama’s reaction to Castro’s death. While no president should publicly rejoice in such a situation, it is inappropriate to turn a blind eye to the human rights atrocities the Cuban people endured under this man’s regime.”
Rep. Roby said, “Moving forward, I hope this can be a turning point for Cuba. I hope Cuban leaders will see this moment as an opportunity to turn away from past behavior and vastly improve the treatment of citizens. I believe our country is ready to welcome Cuba into the free world and have a good relationship with them, but they must first truly change their behavior.”
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She was recently elected to her fourth term in the United States House of Representatives.
US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) whose father is from Cuba told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’, “This is a powerful moment for people all across the country, and especially for Cuban Americans. I was with my dad when he found out the news that Fidel Castro was dead, and he simply said, ‘Praise God.’ For so many of us whose families had been in prison, had been tortured, had seen the destruction of Cuba that Castro carried out… it is thankful he is no longer with us.”
Sen. Cruz said on American Policies Toward Cuba: “What the Obama administration has done is strengthen Raul Castro. Raul is the dictator now. I asked my dad at dinner last night, ‘What do you think happens now that Fidel is dead?’ And he shrugged and said, ‘Raul has been in charge for years. The system has gotten stronger.’ What Obama has done is funneled billions of dollars to Raul Castro, which is being used to oppress dissidents. In 2016, roughly 10,000 political arrests occurred in Cuba – that is five times as many as in 2010 when there were only about 2,000. This tyrannical regime has gotten stronger because of a weak president and weak foreign policy. It is very much my hope and belief that with a new president coming into office in January, President Trump and a new administration, that U.S. foreign policy, not just to Cuba but towards our enemies, whether they are Iran or North Korea, will no longer be a policy of weakness and appeasement, but instead using U.S. strength to force and press for change.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R -Wisconsin) said in his own statement: “Now that Fidel Castro is dead, the cruelty and oppression of his regime should die with him. Sadly, much work remains to secure the freedom of the Cuban people, and the United States must be fully committed to that work. Today let us reflect on the memory and sacrifices of all those who have suffered under the Castros.”