PARIS – Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro represented the pride in rejecting external domination, the French President said on Saturday.
Castro died late on Friday at the age of 90. His death was announced in an address on state television shortly thereafter by the leader’s brother and current president, Raul Castro.
Fidel Castro “embodied the Cuban Revolution both in the hopes it raised and later in the disappointments it provoked,” said French President François Hollande in an official statement.
Referring to Cuba’s stubborn rejection of United States interference in its politics, Hollande said Castro “represented, for Cubans, pride in rejecting external domination.”
Hollande noted the former Cuban leader’s role in the Cold War, adding that his iconic figure related to an era that ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Hollande added that France, while always rejecting human rights abuses, also rejected the U.S. embargo on Cuba and would welcome the re-opening of diplomatic dialogues between the two nations.
The Frenchman remembered when he visited the Cuban leader on May 11, 2015, in what was the first official French state visit to Cuba since the revolution.