World leaders react to the death of Fidel Castro
President Barack Obama was one of many world leaders to comment on the death of Cuban Cold War dictator Fidel Castro. Two reactions came from the United States as statements came in from around the globe.
Castro will be cremated Sunday morning and at this point not having a memorial service that would attract world leaders.
President Obama issued a statement Saturday morning: “Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people.”
“For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements,” Obama said. “During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends — bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity.”
President-elect Donald Trump made his comment from his new Southern White House in West Palm Beach.
“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.
“While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.
“Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, sent a telegram to Raul Castro, hailing Fidel Castro as a “symbol of a whole era of modern world history” saying he was “a wise and strong person” who was “an inspiring example for all countries and peoples” and a “sincere and reliable friend of Russia.”
Pope Francis sent a telegram to Raul Castro as well, writing, “Upon receiving the sad news of the passing of your beloved brother, the honorable Fidel Castro Ruz, former president of the state council and the government of the Republic of Cuba, I express my sadness to your excellency and all family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as the government and the people in that beloved nation.”
“At the same time,” the pope’s telegram continued, “I offer my prayers for his eternal rest, and I entrust the Cuban people to the maternal intercession of Our Lady of La Caridad del Cobre, patroness of that country.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also offered his condolences to the Cuban people and the family of Fidel Castro over the death of the island’s longtime leader. Ban said that “at this time of national mourning, I offer the support of the United Nations to work alongside the people of the island.”
Francois Hollande, the president of France, issued a statement, saying in part: “Fidel Castro was a major figure of the XXth century. He embodied the Cuban revolution, in the hopes it aroused and the disappointments it provoked. Actor of the Cold War, he represented a period of history that ended with the fall of the Soviet Union. He represented, for Cubans, pride in rejecting external domination.”
Some quotes in this story came from the ASSOCIATED PRESS, Trump Transition Team and the White House.