The death of Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, has sparked a world-wide outpouring of solidarity with the Cuban people. As part of this remarkable phenomenon, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent his condolences, noting that Fidel was a “legendary revolutionary and orator,” who made significant improvements in the education and health care systems of Cuba. The PM also noted that his father, the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, was proud to call Fidel Castro a personal friend. In 1976, Pierre Trudeau was the first NATO leader to visit socialist Cuba, and Fidel attended Trudeau’s funeral. These facts reflect the historic record that every Canadian government since 1959, Liberal or Conservative, has rejected Yankee imperialist demands to join in the barbaric blockade to isolate and starve the Cuban people into submission – a human rights violation of massive proportions.
Yet for expressing his sorrow, Justin Trudeau is the target of a vitriolic wave of hatred emanating from far right elements, U.S. and Canadian politicians, and even many liberal or social democratic activists. Their demands to label Fidel Castro a “dictator” fly in the face of reality, that the Revolution brought real, popular democracy to the island for the first time, after decades of brutal military rule and fake elections under US tutelage.
The anti-Trudeau campaign also ignores the fact that in both Canada and the United States, the capitalist ruling class uses the legitimacy of elections to impose a form of dictatorship on the working class, Indigenous peoples, Black Americans, and other racialized and oppressed communities, none of whom have any meaningful input into fundamental economic and political decision-making.
The real goal of this hate campaign is to force the Liberal government to drop any limited expression of independent Canadian foreign policy. We commend Justin Trudeau for his message of condolences, and we urge readers to resist the hatemongers.