President Barack Obama is offering “condolences” to the family in the wake of the death of longtime Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
“At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people,” Obama said, noting that many Cubans and Cuban Americans had “powerful emotions” about the dictator’s death.
Obama did not mention Castro’s evil dictatorship, his suppression of human rights, or the brutal oppression and murder of millions of Cuban citizens in his statement.
Instead he noted that the relationship between Cuba and the United States was “marked by discord and profound disagreements.”
He also took the opportunity to praise his efforts to normalize economic relations with Cuba, despite the country’s leaders refusing to respect basic human rights.
“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,” he said. “As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.”