Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged President Barack Obama not to send a United States representative to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s funeral, after news broke early Saturday morning that Castro had died.
“I would hope they would send no one to the funeral,” Rubio said in an interview with Fox News. “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, of murder, of dictatorship, of imprisonment, of exile, which is what his legacy is all about.”
Rubio reminded viewers of Castro’s decision to shoot down two United States private civilian Brothers to the Rescue planes, which were saving Cuban exiles stranded on rafts trying to leave the country.
If Obama sent an American representative to the funeral, Rubio said, he would be honoring a dictator who murdered American citizens.
In a statement, Rubio said that Castro would not be remembered kindly by his people, recalling those who were persecuted and murdered under his dictatorship.
“One thing is clear: history will not absolve Fidel Castro; it will remember him as an evil, murderous dictator, who inflicted misery and suffering on his own people,” he said.
Rubio urged the Cuban people to seek freedom after Castro’s death, even though Fidel’s brother, Raul Castro, is ruling the country in his stead.
“The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not,” he said. “The future of Cuba ultimately remains in the hands of the Cuban people.”