Senator Bob Menendez said that Fidel Castro’s resignation as Cuban President isn’t great news, but he hopes the Cuban people will take to the streets to peacefully protest the Castro regime.
“This is not the cause for celebration that some would believe. This does not represent the replacement of totalitarianism with democracy,” said Menendez. “Instead, it is the replacement of one dictator with another.”
Menendez’s parents left Cuba in 1953, during the reign of Fulgencio Batista, the dictator who was soon ousted by Castro. Menendez was born in the United States shortly after, and is one of two Cuban-Americans in the Senate.
Menendez said that since Castro’s brother, Raul, has been the Defacto ruler of Cuba since Castro took ill, it’s no surprise that he’s officially taken the reins.
“Just because the dictator is now named Raul instead of Fidel, it doesn’t mean that the regime’s repressive rule will automatically change.”
But Raul Castro, Menendez added, “does not have the same relationship with the Cuban people as Fidel, and now is the time to challenge him.”
West New York Mayor and former Assemblyman Sal Vega, who immigrated from Cuba as a child, agreed with Menendez’s sentiments. This, he said, was a way to prepare the Cuban people for Castro’s death and avoid a power struggle afterwards.
“It’s just passing power from one tyrant to the other,” he said.