Lt. Governor Lopez-Cantera: U.S. Needs To Use Funeral As Platform For Democracy
The world was shocked when former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was announced dead last week. Castro, who was a controversial figure in life, is equally controversial in death and that may be the former Cuban revolutionary’s legacy.
Part of the most current controversy is whether or not world leaders should make time to attend the funeral of Castro, who has been accused of incredible crimes against the Cuban people. The Obama administration has already released a statement stating that “his thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people at this time.” President Barack Obama is also among many world leaders not attending Castro’s funeral. However, there many people, including Florida’s Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera who feel the U.S. should send a representative and Lopez-Cantera even has a volunteer–himself.
For Lopez-Cantera, Castro’s death has special meaning for him and his family as they have experienced Castro’s cruelty first hand as his grandfather was in jail as a political prisoner.
“This is the same Fidel Castro who allowed Russia to point nuclear weapons at the United States,” Lopez-Cantera said. “When Fidel came to power, he designated mock trials. They killed thousands of people. Anybody who disagreed with the dictatorship.”
With that being said, Lopez-Cantera feels that the United States has an obligation to Cuban democracy and not go to a funeral for the sake of going to a funeral.
“”The only obligation USA should have is to bring freedom to Cuba. Not to attend a murderer’s funeral. If the Obama administration sends a representative, the only way I would be okay with it is if they send someone who views the history of Cuba and the history of Fidel like I do,” he said. “If he sends anyone that’s who he should send. The reason why I said someone like myself is that it’s an opportunity to speak out on what Fidel did and what Raul is continuing to do. That would be the only reason to send anyone.”