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World leaders pay tribute to Castro

Beginning from Barack Obama, world leaders paid tribute to Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader who held the world by the juggler when he launched his revolution in 1959. The White House has issued a statement by President Obama on Castro’s death, in which he extends a hand of friendship to the Cuban people and offers condolences to his family.
He said: “At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.
“For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements. 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. This engagement includes the contributions of Cuban Americans, who have done so much for our country and who care deeply about their loved ones in Cuba.
“Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people. In the days ahead, they will recall the past and also look to the future. As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.”
Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia and a close ally of the late Cuban leader, said he was “deeply saddened” at Castro’s death. He told the Latin American television network Telesur:
Fidel was the only man in the world with so many principles and so many values. He made so much history not only for Cuba, but also for the planet. That is socialism.
There will never again be a man or comrade like Fidel, who devoted his life, his knowledge and his struggle not only to the Cuban people but to all the people of the world.
EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker has said in a statement said that Fidel Castro was one of the historic figures of the past century and the embodiment of the Cuban Revolution.
With the death of Fidel Castro, the world has lost a man who was a hero for many. He said: “He changed the course of his country and his influence reached far beyond. Fidel Castro remains one of the revolutionary figures of the 20th century. His legacy will be judged by history.
I convey my condolences to the Cuban President Raúl Castro and his family and to the people of Cuba.”
Pope Francis responded to the death of Fidel Castro, explaining that, it was “sad news”, adding in a message to Raul Castro: “I express to you my sentiments of grief.”
Castro, a professed atheist, was baptised as a Catholic and educated in schools run by the Jesuits, the religious order of which the pope is a member.
The British foreign office released a statement from the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson explaining that
“The UK expresses its condolences to the government and people of Cuba, and to the former president’s family. Fidel Castro’s death marks the end of an era for Cuba and the start of a new one for Cuba’s people.
“Fidel Castro’s leadership of the 1959 Cuban Revolution marked him out as an historic if controversial figure. The UK will continue to work with the government of Cuba on a wide range of foreign policy priorities, including on human rights.
US president-elect Donald Trump issued a statement about the death of Fidel Castro saying that
“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.”
The Amnesty International has called Castro a “progressive but deeply flawed leader”. The organisation said Castro’s achievements in improving access to public services for millions of Cubans were tempered by a systemic repression of basic freedoms during his time in power. Its Americas Director Erika Guevara-Rosa said in a statement:
“Access to public services such as health and education for Cubans were substantially improved by the Cuban revolution and for this, his leadership must be applauded. However, despite these achievements in areas of social policy, Fidel Castro’s 49-year reign was characterised by a ruthless suppression of freedom of expression.
“The state of freedom of expression in Cuba, where activists continue to face arrest and harassment for speaking out against the government, is Fidel Castro’s darkest legacy.
“Fidel Castro’s legacy is a tale of two worlds. The question now is what human rights will look like in a future Cuba. The lives of many depend on it.”
Mitch McConnell, the US Senate majority leader, says that although Castro is gone, “the oppression that was the hallmark of his era is not”.

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