Menendez Reacts To Resignation Of Fidel Castro

Menendez Reacts To Resignation Of Fidel Castro

Washington - Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who is of Cuban descent and has been a leading critic of the regime in Cuba, today released the following statement upon the news that Fidel Castro is resigning as Cuban president:

"This is not the cause for celebration that some would believe. This does not represent the replacement of totalitarianism with democracy - instead, it is the replacement of one dictator with another. In essence, today's action makes official what has been in place for a while now, with Raul continuing to lead the same iron-fisted regime that his brother brought to power almost 50 years ago. Just because the dictator is now named Raul instead of Fidel, it doesn't mean that the regime's repressive rule will automatically change.

"What this move does perhaps present is a moment of hope. Raul does not have the same relationship with the Cuban people as Fidel, and now is the time to challenge him. Cubans who have been clamoring for change may see this as the opportunity to peacefully protest and make their aspirations known. The recent activism of Cuban youth wearing white "Cambio" bracelets is a reflection of that desire for change. Here in the United States, it is a time to further nurture the human rights activists, political dissidents and independent-minded journalists inside of Cuba who have the capability to stoke the movement toward freedom."

Senator Menendez was born in the United States to parents who immigrated from Cuba.