Presidential candidate Barack Obama made this statement following Cuban leader Fidel Castro's announcement of resignation.
“Today should mark the end of a dark era in Cuba’s history. Fidel Castro’s stepping down is an essential first step, but it is sadly insufficient in bringing freedom to Cuba.
“Cuba’s future should be determined by the Cuban people and not by an anti-democratic successor regime. The prompt release of all prisoners of conscience wrongly jailed for standing up for the basic freedoms too long denied to the Cuban people would mark an important break with the past. It’s time for these heroes to be released.
“If the Cuban leadership begins opening Cuba to meaningful democratic change, the United States must be prepared to begin taking steps to normalize relations and to ease the embargo of the last five decades. The freedom of the Cuban people is a cause that should bring the Americans together.”