In response to the death of Fidel Castro on Friday, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Executive Director Marion Smith released the following statement:
“Fidel Castro joins Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot in the ranks of this past century’s greatest criminals, torturers, and murderers. His nearly sixty-year reign of terror ended Friday, but if the United States and the West stand idle at this crucial inflection point in Cuban history, that terror will continue under Raúl Castro and the Communist Party. In the few days since Fidel’s death, the regime has already arrested many pro-democracy advocates and some dissidents have disappeared after being arrested by state agents. This comes in addition to the more than 8,000 political arrests that occurred this year alone. On behalf of Fidel Castro’s tens of thousands of victims, we urge President Obama and all leaders of the free, democratic world to boycott the butcher of Havana’s funeral. Now is the time for the US to recognize the interests of the Cuban people, not the Communist Party. America’s leaders can ensure that the ending of Fidel Castro’s dark chapter of Cuban history can mark the beginning of a truly democratic future.
By establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba last year, President Obama granted the Castro regime unwarranted legitimacy and business opportunities at exactly the wrong time. His administration’s support of the most repressive regime in the Western Hemisphere has granted the Castros impunity for their ongoing crimes and is a moral stain on the President’s legacy. Despite the “normalization” of diplomatic relations, the Castro regime is not a normal government. Fidel was not a normal leader. And this will not be a normal funeral. Let us work to make it the beginning of the end for Communist Party rule in Cuba.”
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