U.S. President-elect Donald Trump released a statement on the death of Cuban revolutionary icon Fidel Castro on Saturday, calling the former president “a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades”.
Castro, who led his bearded rebels to victorious revolution in 1959, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 US presidents during his half-century rule in Cuba, died late on Friday at age 90.
Trump said Castro left a legacy of “firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights”.
The statement said Trump’s administration will do all it can “to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty”, saying he would join many Cuban-Americans in the hope “of one day seeing a free Cuba”.
Trump also commented on Facebook.
“President-Elect Donald J. Trump Statement: 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.”
Story by The Associated Press