11.26.16

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Death Of Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro will be remembered as an ideologue who liberated the Cuban people from a  corrupt dictatorship only to replace it with a family dynasty that maintained its grip on power through fear and repression. 

While the Cuban people for the first time enjoyed universal access to basic health care and literacy, Castro's failed economic policies, compounded by the U.S. embargo, left the country impoverished.  

For 55 years, the mere mention of Fidel Castro has incited fiercely emotional reactions from a deeply divided Cuban population, whether separated by the Florida straits or political ideology.  Throughout those years, U.S. - Cuban relations were fraught with hostility, misunderstanding, and missed opportunities on both sides.

The majority of Cubans alive today were born after the Revolution, and are chafing for a better life.  Having visited Cuba many times, I have seen the benefits of the steps President Obama and President Raul Castro have taken to rebuild bridges between our countries. That process has only begun, and it is in the interests of both countries that it continue.

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