California congressman Dana Rohrabacher tells Breitbart News exclusively that Americans should support Cubans taking up arms against their regime.
“Castro was not just an enemy of his own people, and an oppressor and a gangster, but he was also someone who hated America,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-CA) says. He also told Breitbart News that if President-elect Donald Trump asked him to lead the State Department, he would accept as a matter of duty.
The late Castro was replaced by his brother Raul, who assumed control a few years ago and continues to lead the country.
The one-time campus activist, folk singer and screenwriter said, “We have to be encouraging our Cuban-Americans friends to involve themselves in changing that regime–God has gotten rid of Castro, now it is up to us to get rid of the regime he left behind.”
Rohrabacher said he would support an armed uprising by the Cuban people against the Castro family’s government in a heartbeat.
“We should not be sending in any American troops, but we should be doing everything we can to support those people in Cuba, who are trying to create a real democracy that would be friendly to the United States and the rest of the democratic world,” he said.
It is important to remember that during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cuban president urged the Soviet Union to launch a first-strike nuclear attack on the United States, he said.
“It would have left millions of Americans dead,” he said. “This Castro and his vitriolic hatred United States would suggest that we should not look at him as a positive figure.”
The congressman said President Barack Obama’s statement upon the death of Castro was completely out of order.
Obama’s statement seemed to acknowledge Castro had a mixed record over his six decades in power: “We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation.
Rather than criticize Castro, the president said: “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”
Rohrabacher, who worked as senior speechwriter for President Ronald W. Reagan, said the statement was unacceptable.
“Here you’ve got a President of the United States, basically acted like this was great leader, instead of a monster–if you want to know the difference between Obama and his Democratic Party and the Republicans and Donald Trump, take a look at their reactions to the death of a gangster, who murdered great numbers of his own people and snuffed out all opposition and supported anybody, who damage or hurt us.”
In Trump’s own statement, the incoming president said:
Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.
While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finall y live in the freedom they so richly deserve.
Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.
The congressman says Trump set the correct tone.
“You got one side treating him like a hero and the other side treating him like a king, who destroyed freedom in his own country,” he said. “That dichotomy is so blatant, Americans should learn from it,” he said.
America has an opportunity to help make things right in Cuba, now that Castro is gone, he said. America needs to step up its support for free elections, opposition parties and other hallmarks of a true democracy there, such as a free press. “We have to clear out the remnants of Castroism.”
Rohrabacher is a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee and is the chairman of its Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats subcommittee.