Obama: My prayers are with the Cuban people

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President Barack Obama reacted to the death of Fidel Castro in a statement released by the White House Saturday morning, offering condolences to the his family and extending an arm of friendship to the Cuban people.

“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,” Obama said, highlighting his efforts to mend US-Cuba relations during the course of his presidency.

“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,” the statement said. “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”

The President 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.”

Castro’s death was announced Friday night. He was 90 years old. The funeral is set for December 4, after nine days of mourning.

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