In the course of a post yesterday on the, well, interesting reaction of certain political figures to Castro’s death, I included these words by Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the EU Commission (its top bureaucrat):
A hero [for] many
Juncker’s full statement ran as follows (my emphasis added):
Fidel Castro was one of the historic figures of the past century and the embodiment of the Cuban Revolution. With the death of Fidel Castro, the world has lost a man who was a hero for many. He changed the course of his country and his influence reached far beyond. Fidel Castro remains one of the revolutionary figures of the 20th century. His legacy will be judged by history.
I convey my condolences to the Cuban President Raúl Castro and his family and to the people of Cuba.
A hero for many.
Yes, in a sense that is true, but what it omits says everything, and what it says about Juncker—and the institution he represents—is repulsive.
Now watch what Juncker’s spokesman, Margaritis Schinas, had to say in response to a question from a Czech journalist querying those words, and listen to the disdain with which Schinas says it. And then keep watching: It doesn’t get any better.
As a reminder, Castro supported the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Note too, that Schinas declined to describe Castro as a dictator.