February 22, 2008
Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain Friday said he hoped Fidel Castro’s resignation would be followed by his speedy demise, and rapped Democrat Barack Obama for offering talks with Cuba’s next leader.
“Fidel Castro announced that he would not remain as president — whatever that means,” McCain said in Indianapolis.
“And I hope that he has the opportunity to meet Karl Marx very soon.
“But the point is, the point is that apparently he’s trying to groom his brother Raul. My friends, Raul is worse in many respects than Fidel was.”
In a formal written statement, McCain also took a shot at Obama, the Democratic front-runner who renewed his offer to speak to leaders of US foes without preconditions in a campaign debate with rival Hillary Clinton in Texas.
“So Raul Castro gets an audience with an American president, and all the prestige such a meeting confers, without having to release political prisoners, allow free media, political parties, and labor unions, or schedule internationally monitored free elections,” McCain said.
“Senator Obama says he would meet Cuba’s dictator without any such steps in the hope that talk will make things better for Cuba’s oppressed people.
“Meet, talk, and hope may be a sound approach in a state legislature, but it is dangerously naive in international diplomacy where the oppressed look to America for hope and adversaries wish us ill.”