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Michael TaubeThere’s been much speculation as to what it would take for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s extended political honeymoon to end. The answer, it turns out, is a recently deceased Marxist-Leninist revolutionary.

The PM’s official statement about Fidel Castro, the 90-year-old former president of Cuba who died on Nov. 25, has been ripped apart by critics on the political right and left. It’s not hard to understand why.

Trudeau expressed “deep sorrow” over Castro’s death, calling him a “larger than life leader” and a “legendary revolutionary and orator.” He mentioned that former prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, his late father, was “very proud to call him a friend.”

The closing paragraph, however, takes the cake. “On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie 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.”

Well, you don’t speak for me on this issue, Prime Minister. I strongly doubt that you speak for many Canadians, either.

It makes one wonder who wrote this disgraceful statement. If a speechwriter went through the vetting process commonly associated with this type of document, it clearly failed. And if the PM wrote it (which some people are speculating), it should have been vetted over and over until it looked and sounded professional.

Indeed, some on the political left tend to eulogize Castro as a mythical working class champion who passionately defended universal healthcare and state-run education. But when you seriously examine his horrific record on democracy, personal freedom and human rights, there’s absolutely nothing to praise about him.

Castro was a tyrannical leader. According to the Cuba Archive website, thousands of his innocent countrymen died during his days as a political revolutionary and communist-inspired world leader. He censored his political opponents, and silenced political dissidents. He expunged free speech, and smirked at the concept of a free press. He rejected capitalism, and defended central economic planning. He refused to support free elections, and instead ran Cuba with an iron fist as a one-party state. He regularly quarantined HIV-positive Cubans in sanitariums until 1993.

Meanwhile, he formed a powerful alliance with the old Soviet Union during the Cold War. Castro’s Cuba therefore played an instrumental role in the frightening, 13-day nuclear confrontation between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. known as the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962).

In 2009, it was revealed that Castro had encouraged the Soviets during the early 1980s to launch nuclear strikes against the U.S.

How was this prevented? The answer lies in a declassified 1992 interview by Pentagon contractor BDM Corporation with Andrian A. Danilevich, a prominent Soviet general staff officer who played a crucial role in the U.S.S.R.’s strategic and nuclear planning. The Soviets “had to actively disabuse him of this view by spelling out the ecological consequences for Cuba of a Soviet strike against the U.S.”

Once the Cuban tyrant heard this, Danilevich believed it “changed Castro’s positions considerably.”

This is the man our prime minister praised in an official statement on behalf of all of us. Trudeau’s actions have damaged his public image on the international stage. As Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio wrote on Twitter on Nov. 26: “Is this a real statement or a parody? Because if this is a real statement from the PM of Canada it is shameful & embarrassing.”

Here’s the good news for Canadians. We didn’t write this tripe about Castro, so we’ll eventually recover from the incident unscathed.

Here’s the bad news for Justin Trudeau. No matter who wrote the statement, the prime minister’s name is on it, his political honeymoon is over – and people are going to remember what he said about a brutal Communist dictator for the rest of his life.

Michael Taube, a Troy Media syndicated columnist and political commentator, was a speechwriter for former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He holds a master’s degree in comparative politics from the London School of Economics.

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