As Cuba begins mourning the passing of President Fidel Castro this weekend, a Former Governor is reflecting on his accomplishments.
Former U.S. Senator and Connecticut Governor, Lowell Weicker met with Castro twice during the 1980s. Eyewitness News reporter, Kevin Hogan spoke exclusively with the Former Governor Weicker at his home in Old Lyme.
Governor Weicker said his first impression of Castro was the man was “reserved, and highly intelligent.”
“Americans were taught to hate Castro. We were taught that and go ahead and spend probably a half billion dollars every year to hate Castro with the embargo, said Gov. Weicker.
“All of which was nonsense.”
Weicker, a three term U.S. Senator before he ran for Governor, Weicker visited the Cuban President twice in the 1980s, one visit was for the release of 6 imprisoned Americans, including 2 women from Connecticut.
On another visit aimed at the exploration for each nation’s environmental respect for the oceans, Weicker partook in snorkeling with Castro, who dove without equipment.
“He had nothing and went and caught a lobster,” recalled Weicker.
“He brought it back up to the boat. Then he had the ships surgeon go ahead and dissect the lobster go ahead and eat it. He loved his free diving.”
Looking ahead to the future for the island country now that Fidel is gone, and Raul is 85, reporter Kevin Hogan asked, “What’s next for the country?”
“Remember this, the Cuban people love America and they love Americans so it’s not natural to have us apart,” said Weicker.
When President-elect Donald Trump set to take office, Weicker forecasts that the access to Cuba – both through travel and diplomacy is freer.
“I suspect we’re not going to turn back the clock and I don’t think even the Cubans in Miami want the clock turned back and they can now can see their relatives they can have freer travel open up airlines,” predicts Weicker.
“It’s all set on a positive course and it ought to continue.”
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