Fidel Castro, the notorious leader of Cuba, died on Friday, Nov. 25. Reactions to Castro’s death have been mixed. While some world leaders such as Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, China’s President Xi Jinping, and even former U.S. President Jimmy Carter spoke positively about Castro’s legacy, others were deeply critical of Castro’s regime, including a number of Christian leaders.
Franklin Graham reminded his followers on Facebook that “What we do here on earth determines where we will spend eternity."
Graham also responded to Jinping's statement that “Comrade Castro will live forever.”
“That is true,” wrote Graham. “All of us have a soul that is going to live forever in one of two places--Heaven or Hell.”
Pastor John Piper tweeted about Castro’s death: “Sometimes you honor a king as human by hating his reign.”
Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, tweeted:
Fidel Castro's death should be a reminder to pray for freedom, including religious freedom, for the long-oppressed Cuban people.— Russell Moore (@drmoore) November 26, 2016
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, two Cuban-Americans who ran for president in 2016, firmly condemned Castro and his oppressive regime.
Cruz said he hopes no American officials will attend Castro's funeral and thus endorse "a murderous Communist dictator." Cruz also condemned President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau for "celebrating Fidel Castro."
Rubio also weighed in on Castro's death, telling "Meet the Press" that nothing has changed in Cuba with the rule of Castro's younger brother, Raul.
"Fidel Castro seized power promising to bring freedom and prosperity to Cuba, but his communist regime turned it into an impoverished island prison," Rubio said in a news release. "Over six decades, millions of Cubans were forced to flee their own country, and those accused of opposing the regime were routinely jailed and even killed."
Rubio's own family immigrated to the United States in the 1950's.
Pastor Ed Stetzer also criticized the response of mourning and sadness some world leaders expressed regarding Castro's death.
Disappointed @POTUS offers condolences to Castro's family, but not to his victims' families.— Ed Stetzer (@edstetzer) November 26, 2016
Pls join me in Miami this wknd, Mr. President.
In Miami, the home of many Cuban immigrants, many marked the dictator's death with parades and an hours-long celebration.
“This is a good death,” stated Ulises Flores whose own father was a dissident during Castro's regime.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: November 28, 2016
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.