Social Media Watch: Internet Reacts To Castro’s Million Dollar Demands


Fidel Castro, the former dictator of Cuba, who handed over power to his brother Raúl in 2008, turned 89 on the 13th of August. Having survived over 638 assassination attempts, Castro celebrated his birthday – with an outrageous birthday wish. In a column in a Cuban newspaper, Castro told the United States that Cuba was owed money to the tune of millions of dollars in reparation for the trade embargo that was instituted in 1962.

“Cuba is owed compensation equivalent to damages, which total many millions of dollars, as our country has stated with irrefutable arguments and data in all of its speeches at the United Nations”. The United States has resumed relations with Cuba – but that doesn’t mean that Americans aren’t dishing out the derision on Castro’s birthday wish. Many disgruntled Americans have taken to the twittersphere to air their disapproval – and giving their government a firm kick in the process.

But the background of Castro’s claims has not been overlooked. These demands come at a time when the United States and Cuba have normalised relations. Today, a ceremony in Havana attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry marks the reopening of America’s embassy for the first time 1961. The flag-raising marked the end of official hostilities – but many Americans remain sceptical.

Cuba’s human rights record has ignited the ire of many, and America’s moves to resume normal relations seem to overlook these historical abuses.

While it is undoubtedly unlikely that the US will ever pay reparations, the eventual re-establishment of trade could see both countries make huge financial gains – poor human rights notwithstanding.


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