“Today, we offer our 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 in a statement issued on Saturday.
The U.S. president said history would record and judge the late Cuban leader for his enormous impact on the people and the world around him.
“At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people.
“We know that this moment Cubans in Cuba and in the United States are filled 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 the world around him,” Obama said in his condolence message.
He recalled that for nearly six decades, the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements.
He added that during his presidency, he tried to change the adversarial relations between the two countries.
“During my presidency, we worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing the future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences.
“However, it was defined by the many things that we share as neighbours and friends – bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity.
“This engagements includes the contributions of Cuban Americans, who have done so much for our country and who care deeply about their loved ones in Cuba,” he said.