Republicans Offered Condolences For Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin When He Died

Republicans need to stop whining about President Obama offering condolences for Fidel Castro’s death, because they’ve offered condolences for even worse monsters.

After news of the longtime Cuban dictator’s death, President Obama issued the following statement:

At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.

Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people. In the days ahead, they will recall the past and also look to the future. As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.

President Obama’s statement was much different from Donald Trump’s, which seemed to celebrate Castro’s death. Indeed, Trump’s statement is the kind of dangerous reaction that could damage international relations between nations at a time when we should be seeking peace.

Republicans, of course, have been attacking President Obama ever since. Marco Rubio called Obama’s statement “pathetic.” Ted Cruz says the United States should not send anyone to represent America at the funeral.

But once again, just like they did when President Obama did not attend former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral, Republicans are conveniently forgetting history and precedent.

As it turns out, the Republicans themselves sent condolences after a brutal dictator died on two occasions. In 1953, President Eisenhower offered condolences upon learning that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was near death.

At this moment in history when multitudes of Russians are anxiously concerned because of the illness of the Soviet ruler2 the thoughts of America go out to all the people of the U.S.S.R.—the men and women, the boys and girls—in the villages, cities, farms and factories of their homeland.

They are the children of the same God who is the Father of all peoples everywhere. And like all peoples, Russia’s millions share our longing for a friendly and peaceful world.

Regardless of the identity of government personalities, the prayer of us Americans continues to be that the Almighty will watch over the people of that vast country and bring them, in His wisdom, opportunity to live their lives in a world where all men and women and children dwell in peace and comradeship.

That’s right. Republicans sent condolences for a brutal dictator who murdered at least 10 million people and is known as one of the worst mass murderers of the 20th century.

After Stalin died, Eisenhower even offered praise of Stalin and reached out to the Russian people in his “Chance for Peace” speech.

The world knows that an era ended with the death of Joseph Stalin. The extraordinary 30-year
span of his rule saw the Soviet Empire expand to reach from the Baltic Sea to the Sea of Japan,
finally to dominate 800 million souls.

The Soviet system shaped by Stalin and his predecessors was born of one World War. It survived
with stubborn and often amazing courage a second World War. It has lived to threaten a third.

Now a new leadership has assumed power in the Soviet Union. Its links to the past, however
strong, cannot bind it completely. Its future is, in great part, its own to make.

The United States was even represented at Stalin’s funeral by U.S. Ambassador Jacob Beam.

And when Mao Tse-tung died in September 1976, President Gerald Ford sent the following condolences:

“Mrs. Ford joins me in extending to you our deepest sympathy on the death of Chairman Mao Tse-tung. Chairman Mao had a profound impact on his era. . . . Please accept my personal condolences.”

So by attacking President Obama, Republicans are being total hypocrites. Yes, Fidel Castro was a terrible person. But he was still a human being and many people are mourning him in Cuba. Sending condolences is the human thing to do and it’s the American way even if the foreign leader who died was our enemy. By extending our hand in friendship, we are sending a message to the Cuban people letting them know that we are with them and that we still want to work with them to make a better world for both of our nations. It’s how diplomacy works. Petty statements like Trump’s only do more harm than good.


Featured image via Cagle