President Barack Obama today condoles the death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, saying that history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.
Top American lawmakers, however, described it as the death of a tyrant resulting in new dawn for Cuba.
"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," Obama said in a statement.
For nearly six decades, the relationship between the US and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements, he 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 neighbours and friends - bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity," he said.
This engagement includes the contributions of Cuban Americans, who have done so much for the US and who care deeply about their loved ones in Cuba, he added.
"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," Obama said.
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