Marco Rubio: 'The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not'

Cuban-American politicians reacted to Fidel Castro’s death with a note of caution, reminding the American people that the Communist regime started by the "murderous dictator" is still in place.

Castro died on Friday night in Havana at age 90.

“The dictator has died, but the dictatorship has not,” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said in an interview with WPEC. “History will not absolve Fidel Castro; it will remember him as an evil, murderous dictator who inflicted misery and suffering on his own people,” said the Florida senator.

In an interview with Fox News, he said he hopes the Obama administration send no one to the funeral.

“While you may want to open up to Cuba, there’s no reason we should be opening up to Fidel Castro’s legacy of anti-Americanism, of murder, of dictatorship, of imprisonment, of exile, which is what his legacy is all about.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, of Cuban origin, posted a short message on Facebook, warning that "Fidel Castro's death cannot bring back his thousands of victims, nor can it bring comfort to their families.

“Today we remember them and honor the brave souls who fought the lonely fight against the brutal Communist dictatorship he imposed on Cuba," Cruz said.

Meanwhile, Cuban-American congressional members Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo also issued statements.

“A tyrant is dead and a new beginning can dawn on the last remaining communist bastion of the Western hemisphere,” wrote Ros-Lehtinen. “The message is now very clear to those who think they will continue to misrule Cuba through oppression and fear. Enough is enough. The Cuban people have been shortchanged for too long to continue down this reviled path.”

Diaz-Balart said Castro had “the blood of innocents on his hands” and his dictatorship is guilty of torture, murder and other atrocities. But he warned: “As an evil dictator finally faces his Creator, the malevolent Castro dictatorship continues.”  

“Now more than ever, the people of Cuba need our solidarity. Our country and all of our democratic allies must demand political reforms that secure the human rights of all Cubans,” said Diaz-Balart, who is a nephew of Castro’s first wife.

Curbelo, who is the son of Cuban exiles, called for the support and solidarity of the American people. “Our country and all of our democratic allies must demand political reforms that secure the human rights of all Cubans.”

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