Trump, Obama Release Very Different Statements on Castro’s Passing

Today we see a preview of a very different approach to foreign policy under President Trump. The president-elect marked the passing of Fidel Castro on Saturday by calling him a “brutal dictator” and referring to his legacy of “unimaginable suffering.” It was a startling contrast to President Obama’s message of condolences for Castro’s family.

In a statement Trump 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.”

It came as a possible preview of a more aggressive new administration’s view of totalitarian regimes throughout the Western Hemisphere. In his statement concerning Castro’s death Trump added “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 finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.”

fidel castro.
Fidel Castro.

Trump’s stern words mark a distinct shift in the new and open policies Obama has instilled in US v Cuba relations in the last year. Whereas Obama has made it possible for more free trade and transportation between the two longtime foes, Trump promised that his administration “will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.”

What that means was left unsaid.

“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,” he concluded.

President Obama took a very different and more personal approach expressing his condolences in a statement earlier Saturday. He reiterated earlier proclamations of a renewed relationship between the two countries. Unlike Trump, he steered clear of Castro’s controversial legacy.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.