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Chris Matthews Slams Obama Cuba Overtures
Friday, April 17, 2009 4:36 PM
By: David A. Patten
âHardballâ host Chris Matthews bandaged his bleeding heart on the MSNBCâs âMorning Joeâ program Friday, delivering a blistering critique of the Obama administrationâs diplomatic overtures to Cuba.
âI just am not a Castro fan,â Matthews told host Joe Scarborough when asked about the administrationâs âhistoricâ opening to Cuba with the easing of travel restrictions.
âHe bought the wrong ticket,â Matthews said of Castro. âHe bet on Communism. He bet on the Soviet Union. If that side had won, heâd be marching down 5th Avenue overseeing the executions in Central Park. He made the wrong decision -- morally, historically, whatever. Heâs on the wrong side of history. He ought to pay for it.â
One reason Matthews cited for his strong feelings: Cubaâs possible involvement in Lee Harvey Oswaldâs assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
âThey had something to do perhaps in knocking our guy off,â Matthews said, referring to Kennedy. âSo I donât really want to help Castro. I hope he dies a Communist, ends up that way. I donât want to lift a finger to help that guy, or his brother.
âSo I am not on the side of the people who say, âLetâs all be friends together.â Eventually this guy will play out his hand, heâll be dead, and Raul Castro hopefully will be dead, too. I donât want to engage in any way that salutes the Cuban Revolution at all. Theyâre on the other side of history.â
Matthews called the Cold War âa good war,â adding âI think we were on the right side.â
âI think the captive nations were truly captive, and the people who captured them were the bad guys,â he told Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski. âWhen Castro took office down there how many people got the firing squad right after he got in? What, 600 people? Look, heâs the bad guy.â
âLook,â Brzezinski broke in, perhaps nervous that Matthews might be straying from Obama administration talking points. âI donât deny that and I donât think any of us do . . .â
âSome do!â Matthews interjected.
âWell, I guess my question would be: Do we wait for them to die in order to move on, or is it promising, some of the dialog that weâre seeing now?â Brzezinski said.
âIâd rather get the victory lap in,â Matthews said, suggesting engagement is a bad idea. âI think Castro was a bad guy, okay? He doesnât like America. He may like baseball, he doesnât like us.
âAnd just remember, think it through,â Matthews said. âI always like to take the opportunity to [consider] the trail we didnât go. If weâd lost the Cold War, who would have been there, triumphantly over us? You think [Castro] would have given you a break, Joe? Just guessing Joe, but you might have been on the list.â