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Castro's expertise on democracy challenged

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 08/31/2007 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled


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Cuban dictator Fidel Castro

An endorsement from Cuban dictator Fidel Castro that praised Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as an “apparently unbeatable” combination in the run for the White House isn’t worth all that much, according to the spokesman for President Bush.

Tony Snow was responding to a question from Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, about the issue.

Kinsolving asked: “Reuters reports … that Fidel Castro has just described Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as ‘an apparently unbeatable ticket.’ But the Reuters report did not mention either of these two U.S. senators repudiating this endorsement. And my question: Does the leader of the Republican Party believe that Clinton and Obama should repudiate this dictator’s endorsement or not?”

“I think it is safe to say that Fidel Castro is not an expert on the workings of an active democracy,” Snow responded.

In the news reports, Castro described the combination of Democratic senators as “invincible,” but he did not leave them without criticism.

“Both of them feel the sacred duty of demanding ‘a democratic government in Cuba,’” he wrote in a published commentary. “They are not making politics: they are playing a game of cards on a Sunday afternoon.”

An editorial published in Cuba’s communist party newspaper, Granma, included the comments and was accompanied by an English translation on the newspaper’s website.


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Tony Snow

The ailing dictator, who hasn’t been seen in public since 2006, has ruled the communist island since 1959. Last year he turned over power to his brother, Raul.

Obama has expressed the desire to give Cuban-Americans “unrestricted rights to visit family and send money to Cuba,” while Clinton said through a spokesman she could not talk about “changes to U.S. policy” unless and until Castro is replaced.

In a second question, Kinsolving asked: “Gov. Mitt Romney is quoted as describing Sen. Larry Craig’s behavior as ‘disgusting.’ Does the head of the Republican Party want you to suggest that he disagrees?

“I’m suggesting that we’ve said that this is disappointing and it needs to be handled by the Senate Ethics Committee,” Snow said of the issue of the Idaho senator pleading guilty recently to charges that stem from allegations of sex activity in a Minneapolis airport restroom.

Romney, a Republican presidential hopeful, stopped short of calling for the resignation of Sen. Craig, 62, for his guilty plea to charges from that undercover police operation.

Craig has said he did nothing wrong and should not have pleaded guilty at the time. He also said he is not homosexual.

“I think it’s appropriate when there’s been conduct that we think is disappointing and disgraceful to indicate that,” Romney said. “I don’t think there’s a responsibility to try to gild the lily in a setting like this.”

But he said he wouldn’t tell Craig what to do.

“I expressed my view that his conduct was disappointing, disgraceful, and at this stage, he has a decision of his own to make about his future. I’m not going to insert myself between him and his conscience,” Romney said.

Previous stories:

Kinsolving returning to presidential press briefings

Penguin to publish Fidel Castro memoirs


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