Justin Trudeau became a source for global mockery on the weekend with his glowing tribute to former Cuban president Fidel Castro, who died—decades too late—last week, according to his brother.
Trudeau spoke of Castro as a “larger than life” figure and “legendary revolutionary,” attracting much scorn from people who think those words should be reserved for leaders who don’t execute and imprison their own citizens for having differing opinions and ways of life.
Trudeau’s defenders, however, charged that such language is just how diplomacy works—that we shouldn’t read too much into the flowery language used.
Perhaps it’s a fair point that such platitudes are simply how Trudeau expresses himself.
Last night, the Ottawa Redblacks clinched a victory in the Grey Cup championship over the Calgary Stampeders, prompting a congratulatory statement from Trudeau.
“On behalf of all Canadians, I congratulate the Ottawa Redblacks on their 2016 Grey Cup victory over the Calgary Stampeders in Toronto, Ontario,” he wrote. “I also applaud both teams for having won their respective division championships.”
He went on to talk about the significance of the Grey Cup and sent a message congratulating the CFL on hosting the season.
Of his four sentence-long statement, only one referenced the Redblacks, which Trudeau never referred to as “larger than life” or “remarkable”.
Those words are only reserved for dictators, apparently.
Now I’m no CFL super-fan, but surely honouring a Canadian team that pulled off an upset victory can be done with at least as many platitudes as the purveyor of an ideology responsible for the deaths of millions, if not more.
Trudeau spoke more highly of Fidel Castro than the winners of the Grey Cup. Because it’s 2016?