Former Prime Minister Trudeau’s Son Praises Fidel Castro as “Something of a Superman”

Tue Aug 15, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST

By John Jalsevac

Sacha TrudeauCanada, August 15, 2006 ( – To celebrate communist dictator Fidel Castro’s 80th birthday, this past Sunday the Star newspaper printed a lengthy piece by Alexandre (Sacha) Trudeau, in which the young man lovingly describes the Cuban dictator as a benevolent disciplinarian father figure, calling him “something of a superman.”

Castro, writes Trudeau, is “more in the vein of a great adventurer or a great scientific mind.”“He lives to learn and to put his knowledge in the service of the revolution.” He is, Sacha continues with increasingly ornate and passionate rhetoric, “a visionary statesman in a world where his kind have long since been replaced by mere managers, a 20th-century icon still present in the 21st century.”

In his piece, entitled “the last days of the patriarch”, Sacha recognizes the controversy that surrounds the statesman, but gently dismisses the cries of Cubans struggling under the weight of a totalitarian government and abject poverty as the complaints of restless children under the eyes of a disciplinarian father figure.

“Castro’s leadership can be something of a burden, too,” he writes. “[Cubans] do occasionally complain, often as an adolescent might complain about a too strict and demanding father.” And it is true, he admits, that the people are given little or no freedom, and that the country is abjectly poor. That, however, is because the tyrannical United States tormented the small island state, forcing Castro into choosing totalitarianism as the surest means to defend his country from America’s mercilessÂimperialism. It is not, suggests Trudeau, Castro’s fault that he is a dictator.

Fidel is so charismatic, strong, and ambitious in the quest for what is right and just that even his death, concludes Sacha, could never wipe out the memory and the influence of the dictator. Even after his death “Cubans will continue to be subjected to Castro’s influence. Whether they like it or not, they will continue to be called out by his voice, by his questions, by his inescapable rationality, which, whether they heed its call or not, demands they defend the integrity of Cuba and urges them to seek justice and excellence in all things.”

Pierre Trudeau and Fidel CastroAlthough the fond friendship that existed between Alexandre’s father, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and Fidel Castro, is no secret, the extent to which the younger Trudeau himself idolizes the Cuban dictator, not only as an astute politician, but as a man and an ideal, is striking many as nothing short of ridiculous, as well as disturbing.

“Hopefully none of Trudeau’s children have any interest in getting involved in politics,” wryly commented Jim Hughes, president of Campaign life Coalition. “It is sick that this young man would have the gall to defend a mass murderer whose actions and ideals go against everything that a sane democratic society believes in. Is this what Pierre taught his son?”

Some would argue that Sacha Trudeau’s defence of the virtues of totalitarianism and the totalitarian Cuban dictator, echo his father’s political leanings. In managing director Steve Jalsevac’s report on the life and influence of Castro,ÂJalsevac points out that Pierre Trudeau himself “reported favorably on Stalin’s totalitarianism in the magazine Cite Libre. He frequently expressed enthusiasm for Mao Tse Tung and China’s Communist regime… He greatly admired Cuba’s marxist despot Fidel Castro…Trudeau’s shout of ‘Vive Castro!’ at a large public event during the trip was broadcast around the world. Link Byfield, in a September 30, 2000 Globe and Mail column, stated Trudeau ‘was once overheard by reporters remarking to Fidel Castro how much quicker and easier it would be to run things the Cuban way’.”

Post columnist Jonathon Kay, writing in today’s edition of the National Post, responded incredulously to Sacha’s glowing rhetoric about Castro. “What Sacha has written here is so ludicrous,” writes Kay, “that it puts into question everything he’s said or will say. Now that he’s written this glowing tribute to a dictator with blood on his hands, for instance, why should we believe his repeated claims that this or that Arab terrorism suspect is innocent? Why should we believe his reporting from Iraq, for that matter? If the romantic glory of ‘revolution’ is all that matters in Sacha’s political universe, surely jihadis are ‘supermen,’ too, no?”

Kay juxtaposes Trudeau’s comments about the Cuban dictator against a recent report by Human Rights Watch. “Cuba,” reads that report, “remains a Latin American anomaly: an undemocratic government that represses nearly all forms of political dissent. President Fidel Castro, now in his 47th year in power ... continues to enforce political conformity using criminal prosecutions, long- and short-term detentions[and] mob harassment ... The end result is that Cubans are systematically denied basic rights to free expression, association, assembly, privacy, movement, and due process of law.”

Read The Real Pierre Trudeau: Father of Canada’s Permissive Society, a special report by Steve Jalsevac:

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