Penn State to remove Fidel Castro quote from campus after campaign by student who fled communism in Venezuela


Penn State University said on Saturday it would remove a quote by the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro from a campus building following a campaign by Erik Suarez, an international PSU student who experienced the effects firsthand. of a communist regime in his native Venezuela.

Suarez, a 22-year-old student who fled deteriorating conditions under Venezuela’s socialist government to attend Penn State, said he was inspired to speak out against communism after attending mass protests in Cuba by citizens in search of basic supplies such as food and water. He described his discovery of the quote on display at Penn State’s Paul Robeson Cultural Center, a student resource building, as a “great shock.”

“I didn’t expect to see in Penn State a quote from this dictator who has been repressing the Cuban people for over six decades and who inspired the regime that is repressing my country right now,” Suarez told Fox News. . “There were a lot of feelings back then because I love my school. My school has given me a lot of opportunities and I have a deep connection to it. Seeing him post a quote from Fidel Castro was very shocking to me. “

Suarez sparked an outcry on social media earlier this week after tweet a picture of the estimate. He partnered with several student organizations, including Republicans at Penn State College, to send a formal letter to University President Eric Barron on Thursday asking for the citation to be removed.


On Saturday afternoon, Suarez received a note from a university official who said the school shared their concerns and would quickly remove the quote. In a statement to Fox News, Penn State University said it had just learned of the posting of the quote and confirmed that it will be removed.

“We agree with the concerns expressed by the student, and the quote is removed,” the university said in a statement. “We have also contacted directly to inform the student who expressed concern that this is the University’s decision.”

Campus reform was the first to report on the quote.

Suarez, who first arrived at PSU in the fall of 2018 and has been active in various academic organizations, said he had received “mixed opinions” from fellow students about his campaign for delete the quote.

“I found a lot of people who have supported me a lot, groups on campus who have supported me a lot, people online who have supported me and my cause and were against what Castro stands for,” he said. said Suarez. “But I’ve also found a lot of people on campus who see Castro as someone they should admire.”

“I didn’t expect to hear this kind of rhetoric in the United States,” he added.

The rise of anti-government protests in Cuba has sparked violent clashes between US politicians. Republican lawmakers pushed the Biden administration to take immediate action to support protesters amid reports of government-led violence, while some progressives including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, and the Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., argued that the decades-long US embargo has played a major role in the poor living conditions on the island.

Suarez said he encountered similar views among students who criticized his campaign, including some who he said urged him to take classes to learn more about the situation in Cuba.


The Venezuelan immigrant said signs of support for socialist policies in the United States were another key factor in his decision to speak out about the quote.

“I think for some people they don’t understand what it is like until they’ve experienced it,” Suarez said. “It is sad because they are only defending ideals which have been the cause of so much misery, death and pain, for me, for Cuba and for many countries of the world which have tried these systems which do not ‘didn’t work. It’s very painful. That’s why I got up and I’m trying to make a change. “

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