Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

AdChoices
People wait to pay tribute to Fidel Castro at Revolution Square in Havana on Nov. 28, 2016. The dictator died Friday at age 90. (ENRIQUE DE LA OSA/REUTERS)
People wait to pay tribute to Fidel Castro at Revolution Square in Havana on Nov. 28, 2016. The dictator died Friday at age 90. (ENRIQUE DE LA OSA/REUTERS)

WHAT READERS THINK

Nov. 29: Trudeau on ‘el comandante.’ Plus other letters to the editor Add to ...

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

.................................................................................................

Trudeau on Castro

Cuba’s history, people and culture are different than ours. Justin Trudeau’s choice to respect that difference, rather than using a man’s death for political posturing, represents the best in Canadians.

Margaret Shaw, Toronto

........................................

Justin Trudeau’s praise-laden eulogy for Fidel Castro might have been fine to post on the Castro family’s obituary website as a private citizen, but as a statement from our Prime Minister on behalf of all Canadians it was completely inappropriate.

Fidel Castro was a vicious, murdering, blood-thirsty Communist dictator who nearly thrust the world into a nuclear war.

Lyman MacInnis, Toronto

........................................

Justin Trudeau has been criticized for his official statement after the death of Fidel Castro. Conservative leadership candidates Lisa Raitt, Maxime Bernier and Kellie Leitch tweeted their anger at the Prime Minister. Interim leader Rona Ambrose and Ben Harper (son of Stephen) joined in.

Meanwhile, other voices were raised, echoing Mr. Trudeau’s comments. Most presidents of Latin America, EU President Jean-Claude Juncker, China’s President Xi-Jinping, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Putin from Russia, Spain’s Mariano Rajoy, French President François Hollande (calling Mr. Castro a “towering figure of the 20th century”), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (who praised Mr. Castro’s “strong voice for social justice”), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Barack Obama (who referred to the “enormous impact of this singular figure”), and Pope Francis have issued positive, and respectful, statements on the death of the former Cuban president.

Fidel Castro was a controversial figure, but the dancing in the streets of Miami by exiles, and superficial tweets by Conservative hopefuls showing selective indignation, are disappointing.

John M. Kirk, professor of Latin American Studies, Dalhousie University

........................................

Those who were fans of Yes, Prime Minister would recognize the PM’s statement as one that Sir Humphrey would call “Very courageous, Prime Minister.”

In the Trump era, I agree with Sir Humphrey.

Patrick MacKinnon, Halifax

........................................

While the substance of Clifford Orwin’s column is well taken, one should be careful not to overstate the case against Justin Trudeau’s assessment of the Cuban model under Fidel Castro (Why Is Justin Trudeau Coddling The Castros? – Nov. 28). Prof. Orwin suggests Cuba’s neighbours have prospered to a greater degree than the island nation since the revolution of 1959. Yet, we need only look to Haiti – some 100 kilometres away – for a liberally oriented form of political and economic development that by most reasonable indicators has been, for decades now, mired in a startling humanitarian tragedy. A level-headed appraisal of Mr. Castro’s record will need to come to terms with the reasons for the stark contrast in human development between these two otherwise similarly situated countries.

Certainly we in our liberal countries have something to learn from Cuba, just as we hope to offer Cubans our insights in return.

Patrick Desjardins, PhD candidate, political science, York University

........................................

CBC. Not lost. Found

Re Our Public Broadcaster Has Lost Its Way (Nov. 28): CBC news is now the only Canadian broadcast content that we watch in our Gen-X household. The CBC has lost its way? I would argue the converse: that a half-century of private Canadian networks’ parasitically broadcasting U.S. content has left them as aimless shells in a world where U.S./international streaming content is increasingly available directly from the source.

Brian J. Lowry, Fredericton

........................................

Nothing ‘alt’ about it

Within four pages of each other in the Focus section on the weekend, Public Editor Sylvia Stead decried the normalization of the label “alt-right” in our media (We Must Call The ‘Alt-right’ What It Is: Fascist, Racist, White Supremacist), and columnist Erna Paris used the term without qualification or elaboration (We Can Only Hope History Isn’t Repeating Itself ). Ms. Paris referred to “alt-right posters urging white Canadians to reject multiculturalism,” and clearly she is hostile to proponents of radical conservatism who have gained ground globally, including winning the White House.

The Globe and Mail – in its news and opinion pieces – should drop the term altogether. Call it what it is: the radical right, or the extreme right. There’s nothing “alt” about it.

Ian Gill, Vancouver

........................................

Referendum rubric

“Why are opponents of the first-past-the-post so afraid of a referendum?” asks a letter writer (Electoral Rejoicing? Not So Fast – Nov. 26). For democracy’s sake is one answer but, as with most issues, there are others, including: because when people are ignorant of an issue’s finer points they opt for the status quo; be-cause saying “no” gives a sense of control (This is why babies say this before pretty much anything else); because the Conservatives are so adamant one be held (see the first two reasons for why). Also, even when a referendum vote favours PR, the powers-that-be say it isn’t legitimate (PEI).

Elections can’t get more confusing than the last one, where many used the ham-fisted, blunt instrument called “strategic voting.” Canadians would like to vote “for” someone, not strategically to rid ourselves of a tyrant.

Marke Slipp, Annapolis Valley, N.S.

........................................

It’s Tuesday. Give

The holiday-shopping frenzy kicked-off with an onslaught of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. These two dedicated shopping days originated in the United States as a way for American retailers to take advantage of the Thanksgiving long weekend celebrations to trigger holiday buying. But in recent years, the hype has spread to countries that don’t even celebrate Thanksgiving; Cyber Monday is now one the world’s single-biggest retail days.

Moneris, one of North America’s leading payment providers, has been tracking Canadian spending for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They report that 2015 spending in Canada was up 9.6 per cent on Black Friday, and 14 per cent on Cyber Monday. Clearly, Canadian retailers have been leveraging these days, and consumers have responded.

It is this very consumerist phenomenon that has led to an antidote of sorts. After the four-day shopping frenzy, the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday has been dubbed Giving Tuesday (GivingTuesday.ca), a counterpoint to consumerism.

Giving Tuesday is a growing movement that encourages generosity and giving back to our communities.

Today is Giving Tuesday. With the many challenges winter poses here for the homeless, new immigrants, those on fixed incomes, and so many other urgent needs, today is an excellent opportunity to give back. Giving is good for the soul of our communities. Whether you donate time or money, you can make a difference.

John Hallward, founder and chairman, GIV3

Report Typo/Error

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeDebate

Next story

loading

Trending

loading

Most popular videos »

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular