President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter initially on Saturday to react in only four words to Fidel Castro’s death before issuing a longer statement condemning the “brutal dictator” and yearning for a free Cuba.
“Fidel Castro is dead!” Trump tweeted on the news of the 90-year-old’s death.
Fidel Castro is dead!
He then followed it with a lengthier official statement which was delivered to the media by his Director of Communications, Jason Miller:
Trump’s “statement” was remarkably different than those of other world leaders, namely that of American neighbor Canada, whose prime minister — Justin Trudeau — said he had “deep sorrow” when he learned of Castro’s death. Trudeau expressed his condolences to the Castros in a five paragraph statement.
And of course, Russian President Vladimir Putin lamented over Castro’s death. To note, Cuba and Russia were very close allies during the Cold War.
President Barack Obama also offered his condolences to the Castro family.
Mr Trump, who takes office in January, said he hoped Cubans could move towards a freer future.
Castro came to power in 1959 and ushered in a Communist revolution. He defied the US for decades, surviving many assassination plots.
His brother Raul, who succeeded him as president, announced his death on state television on Friday night.
People celebrate after the announcement of the death of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in the Little Havana district of Miami, Fla. (Javier Galeano/Reuters)
At a Miami rally in September, Trump said he would roll back Obama’s Cuban policy reforms unless Cuban leaders allowed religious freedom and freed political prisoners.