French President Francois Hollande pays tribute to Fidel Castro during a Francophone summit in Madagascar, describing him as ''a great figure of the 20th century'' and calling for the embargo against Cuba to be lifted. Subtitled Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
SUBTITLED ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: World leaders, including French President Francois Hollande, paid tribute on Saturday (November 26) to Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader who built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States. Castro died on Friday aged 90, his younger brother and successor Raul Castro announced on state television. Hollande mourned the loss of a major figure on the world stage and welcomed the rapprochement between Havana and Washington, while noting concerns over human rights under the Castro regime. "Fidel Castro was a great figure of the 20th century. He sparked a lot of hope with the Cuban revolution. For a time, for many people of Latin America, but not only for them, he was a reference," Hollande told a Francophone Summit in Antananarivo. "And even if on several occasions I condemned the human rights abuses in Cuba, I always considered that the embargo was an unacceptable unilateral decision," he added. During his speech at the Francophone Summit the French Socialist leader called for ending the embargo. "Aside from history, it is the future that counts and I want to, on the occasion of the death of Fidel Castro, once again insist that the embargo, which penalizes Cuba, may be lifted once and for all and that there may be an opening, an exchange and that Cuba may be wholly part of the international community and seen as a partner. France always looks at Cuba as a partner," he said. The U.S. embargo, in place since 1962, was softened in January 2015, as normal relations between Washington and Havana were established.