Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who represents the East Bay in Congress, praised the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro after his death was announced on Friday.
Lee issued a statement via Twitter on Saturday:
Oakland, CA — Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a steering committee member of the Congressional Cuba Working Group, released this statement on the passing of Cuban leader Fidel Castro:
“My deepest condolences to Fidel Castro’s family and the Cuban people during this time.
While there are many disagreements between our countries, President Castro was a recognized world leader who was dedicated to the Cuban people.
It is my hope that we continue to build on President Obama’s efforts to end the failed embargo, lift the travel ban and normalize relations between our two countries.”
In an interview with the East Bay Times, lee also praised Castro’s “revolution”:
“We need to stop and pause and mourn his loss,” Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said in a phone interview.
When she learned the news, Lee said, “I was very sad for the Cuban people. “He led a revolution in Cuba that led social improvements for his people.”
In her eight meetings with Castro over the years, Lee said, she found him to be “a smart man. A historian. He wanted normal relations with the United States but not at the expense of the accomplishments of the revolution.”
Lee, who was the only member of Congress to vote against authorizing war in Afghanistan after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, also criticized President-elect Donald Trump for his comments celebrating Castro’s death, the Times notes.
Her district includes the University of California Berkeley, one of the hubs of the American left.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.