American Principles Project launched a petition urging President Barack Obama and senior officials in his administration to skip former Cuba President Fidel Castro’s funeral. A letter, written by Robert P. George, a law professor at Princeton University and founder of American Principles Project, encourages the Obama administration to not further legitimize Castro’s “decades of despotism and brutality” by attending the funeral.
Here is the letter below:
Friends and Fellow Citizens,
Fidel Castro, a ruthless dictator who imprisoned, tortured, and murdered thousands of his own people in Cuba over a more than four decades long reign of terror, died on Friday. As foreign leaders such as Canada’s Justin Trudeau bring shame on themselves and their nations by publicly paying tribute to one of the world’s most despicable tyrants, Castro’s victims and their families—and millions of Americans and other men and women of goodwill who stand in solidarity with them—wait for the words and deeds of President Obama. Disappointingly, all the President has said so far is that Castro “altered the course of many lives.” The same, of course, could be said for Hitler, Pol Pot, or Osama bin Laden.
Two years ago, the President announced the normalizing of relations between the United States and Cuba, despite Cuba’s unwillingness to respect the basic human rights and freedoms of its citizens. So now the question is: Will the President—or Secretary of State John Kerry or some other high United States official—attend Castro’s funeral?
He should not. For our government to send a representative to the funeral would be to insult and break faith with Castro’s countless victims and their families and confer further legitimacy on one of the world’s most evil dictatorships.
If you agree, please join me in asking President Obama not to attend the funeral or send an official representative
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), himself a Cuban-American has eloquently explained why sending a U.S. representative to the funeral would be a mistake:
“If you send a representative of the Obama Administration and the U.S. government to that funeral you are sending someone to the funeral of a man who ordered the execution of Americans including the Brothers to the Rescue. Let’s not forget this happened in 1996 when you had civilian aircraft over international waters, unarmed, they were patrolling looking for rafters, in the sea to save their lives and the Cubans shot two of those planes down. While you may want to open up to Cuba there’s no reason we should be opening up to Fidel Castro’s legacy of anti-Americanism, murder, dictatorship, imprisonment and exile. Which, is what his legacy is all about.”
I agree and hope you do, too. Please join me by signing the petition below urging President Obama not to not affirm or excuse Castro’s decades of despotism and brutality by attending his funeral or sending a representative.
Robert P. George
American Principles Project
The letter can be signed here.