[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] gave [official statement] his condolences to the Cuban people and the family of the nation’s former President Fidel Castro, who passed away late Friday night. Ban spoke [UN News report] on the last conversation he had with Castro in January 2014 where the two discussed climate change, sustainable development, and other global developments. Ban applauded Castro’s work in advancing education, literacy, and health in Cuba and called Castro a “strong voice for social justice in global discussions at the UN General Assembly.” Ban concluded by voicing his hopes that Cuba will continue reform in the area of human rights.
President Raul Castro, who succeeded his brother Fidel in 2008 after Fidel stepped down due to health concerns, announced [YouTube video] Fidel’s death to the citizens of Cuba late Friday night. The announcement prompted responses from many political figures. President Obama [official website], who began working on reestablishing [JURIST report] long-severed diplomatic ties with Cuba in 2014, also extended [official statement] his condolences to the people of Cuba and Fidel’s family, adding that Cuba will find a “friend and partner in the United States of America.” In his statement [Bloomberg report], President-Elect Donald Trump [official website] condemned Castro’s legacy but said that his administration will “do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.”