Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro passed away on Thursday. His death was celebrated by many American Cubans, many of whom had been separated from their families and faced tragedy as a result of his rule.
The ladies of ABC’s “The View” had stronger feelings than ever about the reactions to his death, particularly on the part of President Obama. The most vocal was co-host Jedediah Bila.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg brought up the criticim that Obama should have been more forceful in disavowing Castro. Co-host Joy Behar asked what was wrong with his statement right as Bila spoke up.
“I’m nauseated,” she started. Bila could not believe that anyone would speak about Castro with any sort of esteem:
I’m naseauted because you’re talking about a mass murderer. You’re talking about a guy who imprisoned people, who put gay people in jail. When I see countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives…by killing them, by putting them in jail-
Behar cut her off, but Bila continued to make her point:
We stand for freedom in the United States of America. We stand for freedom of the press, we stand for the freedom of people to speak out against politics they don’t like. We sit at this table every day and we’re able to speak our minds. People in Cuba don’t have that right. I want my president to speak up for those people. And this was a guy who imprisoned people who disagreed.
Bila’s statement received heavy applause from the audience.
Goldberg continued to talk about the nature of speech in America. Bila and Behar also confronted each other later on in the segment when Behar made the case for the Cuban healthcare system.
Co-host Sunny Hostin backed Bila, saying that though they rarely agreed on much, she too wanted a statement “acknowledging from our president that [Castro] was a brutal dictator, that he imprisoned people, that he murdered people.” Following her statement, Hostin agreed with a point made by Goldberg that the response should have been diplomatic.
Bila took to Twitter for a final word on the matter:
Bila also responded to those praising the dictator:
She received and retweeted praise from viewers: