‘Dictator’ label on Fidel Castro insults Cuba

“The Cuban Revolution has dignified its people, ensuring all basic human rights, like the right to food security, free access to health and education services, as well as to the culture, sport and other fundamental rights.” – Cuban Ambassador Juan Carlos Arencibia Corrales


MANILA – The Cuban ambassador to the Philippines has called on Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Fr. Joaquin Bernas to deepen their understanding of Cuba and its revolution.

This came after Bernas likened President Benigno S. Aquino III to Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Bernas said Aquino, in his tirades against the Supreme Court, “sounded like the Cuba’s former president.”

In defense of Aquino, De Lima said, “I don’t think this president has the tendency or the psyche to be autocratic or dictatorial if that is what Bernas meant regarding Castro.”

In an interview with Bulatlat.com, Cuban ambassador to the Philippines Juan Carlos Arencibia Corrales said: “Fr. Bernas and De Lima have shown great ignorance of the Cuban history, as evident by their malicious statements against Fidel Castro.”

Arencibia said his office would be sending a note to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to express their disappointment over such unfortunate incident. “We are asking for official response from the Philippine government, given that Ms. De Lima is a senior government official,” Arencibia told Bulatlat.com.

In his press release, Arencibia said that while “Cuba is fully committed to the principle of the strict respect to the internal affairs of the Philippines, it flatly rejects the gross and infamous defamation, manipulations and disrespect against its historic leader Fidel Castro, our current President Raul Castro and all members of the Revolution leadership.”

Arencibia said “such attitudes and projections show total disregard of their country and only serve and satisfy the spurious interests of those who are seeking to demonize and destroy the Cuban revolution.”

Arencibia said Bernas should be reminded of the historical fact that Fidel Castro fought the brutal dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and that the revolution led by Fidel Castro overturned the sorry situation of Cuba.

“…[D]espite the genocidal economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed upon us by powerful northern neighbor for over 50 years and attacks of various kinds that have had to suffer, the Cuban Revolution has gotten many achievements for the benefit of its people, which are recognized around the world,” Arencibia said.

“The Cuban Revolution has dignified its people, ensuring all basic human rights, like the right to food security, free access to health and education services, as well as to the culture, sport and other fundamental rights. At the same time, Cuba has been able to assist other peoples of the world, offering them a generous and selfless help. On the other hand, the Cuban Revolution eradicated forever the practices of tortures, forced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and other abominable practices of previous dictatorial and neocolonial governments,” Arencibia said.

In its recent report entitled Progress for Children: A Report Card on Nutrition, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said Cuba is the only country in Latin America and the Caribbean that has eliminated malnutrition of children.

Arencibia said they have received 60,000 foreign students from 120 countries on full scholarship. Cuba has been sending medical assistance and other forms of humanitarian aid to other countries.

“Our leader has always set a good example of sacrifice,” Arencibia said, referring to Fidel Castro. “When President Aquino was still a child, Fidel Castro was already waging the revolution.”

‘Democracy for the Cuban people’

Contrary to what Arencibia called as “global propaganda campaign against Cuba,” Cuba practices “inclusive democracy.”

“We cannot accept [the accusation] that in Cuba, we have a dictatorship,” Arencibia said.

He said that in Cuba, the people nominate and elect their representatives, from the base to the national Parliament. Through the National Assembly, he said, citizens can air their views regarding bills before the approval of the Parliament.

“It is not a democracy for the rich but a democracy for the working class, peasants, students, etc,” he said.

Asked why Fidel Castro served as president for 32 years, Arencibia replied: “Because he has the overwhelming support of the people. He was elected by the people. It was a result of free elections.” Cuba holds elections every five years.

Regarding claims that Fidel Castro chose his brother Raul Castro to replace him as president, Arencibia said: “Raul Castro is another historic leader of the Cuban revolution. He was elected based on his own merits and not because he is Fidel’s brother.”

Arencibia said Raul Castro joined the Moncada attacks against the Batista dictatorhip in 1953. Raul, like Fidel was also imprisoned and sent to exile in Mexico after the attacks. He went back to Cuba in 1956 and had been in the mountains fighting until the final defeat of the Batista dictatorship in 1959.

Arencibia said Fidel and Raul’s other brother, Ramon, who had not participated in the revolution, was never assigned or elected to any position in government.

The Cuban ambassador also expressed disappointment over the dependence of most media outfits in the Philippines on Western media. He said some newspapers re-echo the anti-Cuba propaganda peddled by the Western media.

“I encourage the Philippine media to publish our press release [regarding the incident] in the interest of truth,” Arencibia said. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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16 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Fidel Castro is a controversial and divisive world figure, lauded as a champion of anti-imperialism, humanitarianism, socialism and environmentalism by his supporters, but viewed as a dictator who has overseen multiple human rights abuses by his critics. :;

  2. Please remember, do not do unto others what you do not want to be done unto you. Fidel Castro is a great man, has a significant place in history, not just history of Cuba but the whole world. Each has his own place. Compared to us, Fidel seems to be humble pa and mayabang pa yata kung sino man titira sa kanya na di naman sya nakikilala.

  3. Sus, mga hipokrito. Pagdating sa US mabilis pa sa alas kwatro, pero pagdating sa China.. Tameme kayo.
    Noong una akala ko totoo kayo, ngayon bumaba ang tingin ko sa kilusang ito.
    Tama na! Halata na!

    Kahit kaming mga manggagawa ginagamit ninyo sa mga alituntuning “BIAS”.
    Mukhang ginagamit niyo nalang kami para makapanggulo at makapang-agaw kayo ng kapangyarihan. Pwes ayaw naming matulad ang Pilipinas sa North Korea na ginugutom ang mamamayan para pambili ng armas at missiles samantalang ang lider doble-doble ang baba sa taba.

    Ang masasabi ko lang, mga TUTA kayo ng INTSIK!
    Kayong mga pekeng nasyonalista!

  4. IN CUBA..

    Free Medical = in philippines = you end up in the morgue if you don’t have money
    FOOD is according to your needs you have to work for it = in the Philippines .. you have to die and beg for it.
    Free water and electricity based on your work = in the philippines .. 60 percent of your income goes to meralco and maynilad

    -only socialist country can do free. free free ..

  5. Sure thing is .CUBA invented the first anti cancer so what else can cuba do..? a lot and much better than those country spoon feed by USA.. VIVA LA REVOLUTION the true evil is the imperialist even the people of U.S. fight for the true democracy

  6. let’s qualify certain things:
    1. Fidel was certainly a dictator (he’s retired now). He would have won any election by virtue of his personal charisma if he had subjected himself into one, but he chose not to. He imposed himself on the Cuba people for nearly 50 years. That’s not revisionist history.
    2. To claim that Cuba’s electoral system is democratic would be similar to describing the Soviet Union as a pillar of democracy. When a government handpicks who should run on for election as Cuba does, that’s definitely not a democratic process, no matter which definition one uses to describe the term.
    3. Lastly, Secretary de Lima had no business getting into the debate. She just ignited a brewing diplomatic spat with Cuba with her remarks. Yeah, she was right: Fidel was a dictator, but de Lima, being a senior government official, should have kept her mouth shut.
    4. Lastly, ask ordinary Cubans how much they love their health service, when they have to buy their own medicines, bring their own beddings and food to the poorly equipped, ill-maintained hospitals. It’s free, alright, but it’s definitely not world-class as they claim. Oh yeah, and ask how glad they are to receive less than USD 25 per month in wages!

  7. maiba lang po. napansin ko kasi sa sinabi ni Justice Sec. de Lima, “…if that is what Bernas meant regarding Castro.” baka naman kasi ginagamit lang talaga ni de Lima sa usapan yung ideya ng kausap nya tungkol kay F. Castro. ewan. baka lang naman

  8. Many Filipinos are really ignorant of Cuba’s history and current events and this is due to US brainwashing. Anybody or any country that goes against the whims and caprices of US imperialism is branded as evil. One has to realize how efficient Cuba’s health service system is, even comparable to the best found in western Europe. One has to be informed that there are no squatters in Cuba and its people don’t get hungry; that education is free in Cuba from kindergarten to the university; that there is no problem of overpopulation in Cuba. In world standard, Cuba is yet considered poor because of almost half a century of economic embargo imposed on it by the US. But there is no poverty in Cuba like what Filipinos have been experiencing for generations of being subservient to the machination of US economic exploitation. Even our definition of dictatorship is a product of US brainwashing. If Fidel has been a dictator why do Cubans enjoy the rights to avail of services to make their lives livable?

  9. No pasaran!

    Viva Fidel!

    Viva Che!

    Viva, Nuevo Ejercito del Pueblo dela Filipinas!

    Abajo con imperialismo yankee Americano!

  10. You forgot to mention that Fidel Castro had intended to leave office multiple times, but was re-elected, somewhat against his will. Cuba loves him.

  11. Tell the Cuban ambassador, we Philippines are not stupid. Free elections in Cuba?!! Are you kidding. Castro has always been a dictator. His brother is the continuation of a dynasty that has divided the Cuban family, impoverished the country and served as a lackey of the former Soviet Union. The ambassador is only a miserable puppet of the Castros’ dictatorship. If he doesn’t like the adjective, get rid of the Castros and allow democracy to flourish

  12. I find it ridiculously funny that the Cuban ambassador likened President Aquino to Castro. Im glad that Ms de Lima and Mr Bernas set him straight on that one. He obviously is delusional comparing a brutal dictator and his oppressive government to the Phillipines. All that Castro and his army of robots have managed to do is to destroy a country and make everyone equal, yea equally poor and miserable. Meanwhile he is worth billions and he and his cronies, like this Ambassador, get rich and live like kings while the masses suffer.

  13. Labeling Fidel Castro a dictator is no insults to Cuba. it is a statement of fact. The Cuban ambassador can rave and rant all he wants.

  14. Just a few days ago, police kidnap more than 200 people that were trying to celebrate the Humans Rights day !!

    Fidel is not a dictator, he is worst than that !!!

  15. YOUTUBE : Documentary : “Las Torturas de Castro” ( The Tortures of Castro )- in Spanish with English sub-titles

    “The Tortures of Castro” , is one of the most comprehensive documentary ever made ??in the Cuban exile community, which includes a brief summary of torture carried out by the regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba through the voice of its own victims. These testimonies deserves to be seen and shared with the world. “The Tortures of Castro” has been under the direction of Luis Guardia and Pedro Corzo production.

  16. If Fidel Castro after ruling a country oppressively for decades, who came to power by force is not a dictator, who is a dictator then? The Castro brothers and the nepotist military junta that has ruled Cuba for over fifty years are nothing but ruthless dictators…the rest is history..ask the Cuban Ambassador who are the Damas de Blanco, Zapata Tamayo, Fariñas and how they treat dissenting voices…or by being a communist dictator you are exempt from scrutiny…Castro deserves to be treated like his not so long ago departed friends Ceaucescu, Kahdaffi and Hussein…

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