Justin Trudeau Says Castro Was ‘Larger Than Life Leader’

REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacted quickly to the news of Fidel Castro’s death, calling the late Cuban dictator “larger than life,” “remarkable,” and a “legendary revolutionary and orator.”

“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie [Trudeau’s wife] and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader,” Trudeau said in a statement released while he was attending the Francophonie Summit in Madagascar today.

Trudeau recently visited Cuba and met with its current leader, Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother.

Trudeau’s father, who was a Canadian prime minister for 15 years, was the first leader of a NATO country to visit with Fidel Castro, and the two became close friends. The elder Trudeau and his wife vacationed at Castro’s home in the 1970s.

Trudeau reminded Canadians that “I know my father was very proud to call him a friend.”

The elder Trudeau was infamous for his association with left-wing causes before he entered politics and his intimacy with communist leaders was well-known. When Mao Zedong, head of communist China, died, Trudeau rose in the Canadian Parliament to praise the communist leader despite the despot’s well-known disregard for human rights.

The current Canadian prime minister also lauded the late Cuban leader’s “significant improvements to the education and healthcare of the island nation,” while he acknowledged that Castro was “a controversial figure.”

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