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Justin Trudeau to Skip Fidel Castro’s Funeral

Following an online dragging, Justin Trudeau announced he will not be going to Cuba for the longtime leader's funeral.
Mack Lamoureux
Toronto, CA
November 28, 2016, 7:31pm

Justin Trudeau in Havana earlier this year. Photo via Facebook

After being thoroughly dragged on twitter and the press, Justin Trudeau announced he will not be attending the funeral of Fidel Castro.

Instead, on Trudeau's request, Governor-General David Johnston will head to Cuba to attend a commemoration for Castro.

The announcement comes after Trudeau was thoroughly mocked online for his initial statement regarding the dictator and revolutionary's death. The statement, ripe with sentiment, was seen as being far too light on a man responsible for the death of many.

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"It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba's longest serving President," reads the beginning of the statement.

"Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation."

In response, a Trudeau Eulogies hashtag arose on Twitter, which saw people making up glowing statements for dictators like Pol Pot and Stalin and famous villains like Darth Vader.

"Controversy followed Jeffrey Dahmer but he helped cast a new light on the limits of low carb diets," tweeted out Jonah Goldberg, an editor at the National Review.

Goldberg's joke was retweeted over 1,200 times—it was just one of many. Failed presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both tweeted out their disapproval, with Rubio calling Trudeau's statement "shameful and embarrassing."

Since the initial statement both Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale have walked back the seemingly glowing description of Castro.

Now, it is actually the norm for the Governor General to attend in the Prime Minister's place, as they don't usually go to the funerals of world leaders unless it's an exceptional circumstance as was the case of the funerals for Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher and Shimon Peres.

That said, there certainly exists a connection between the former Cuban leader and the Trudeau family. In 1976 Pierre Trudeau was the first major world leader to visit the island nation after the US embargo and in 2000, Fidel Castro was an honorary pallbearer at Pierre Trudeau's funeral.

Castro's funeral will take place on Sunday as the final act in nine days of mourning in the country.

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