Statement by the President on the Passing of Fidel Castro

Toilet paper with the face of Cuban leader Fidel Castro is displayed at Sentir Cubano, a Cuban store along Calle Ocho in the Little Havana neighborhood in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The White House – President Barack Obama released a statement today in regards to the passing of Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader who survived over 600 assassination attempts. Several politicians have offered condolences to the Castro family and extended “a hand of friendship” to the Cuban people.

President-elect Donald Trump’s statement promises that his administration “will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.” Prior to election day, Trump took to Twitter writing “The people of Cuba have struggled too long. Will reverse Obama’s Executive Orders and concessions towards Cuba until freedoms are restored.”


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.