While the death of Fidel Castro drew cheers in Miami and sharp criticism of the Cuban leader from some in Washington, his passing also produced expressions of respect and introspection around the world.

President Obama alluded to both the history of animosity between the United States and Cuba and the advent of change in those relations. Obama said he extended "a hand of friendship to the Cuban people."

For more than half a century, Obama recalled, the relationship "was marked by discord and profound political disagreements." But, he said, "we have worked hard to put the past behind us," pursuing instead a future based on shared family, cultural, and commercial bonds.

"We know that this moment fills Cubans - in Cuba and in the United States - with powerful emotions," Obama said. "History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him."

President-elect Trump, early Saturday morning, took to Twitter to share a thought that proved pithy even for the medium: "Fidel Castro is dead!"

He followed up later citing the "passing of a brutal dictator" and adding that "Cuba remains a totalitarian island."

He described Castro's legacy as one of "firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights."

Trump's future policies toward Cuba, and whether he continues with diplomatic normalization with the government, are a matter of much speculation. He has said he would toss out Obama administration changes that opened economic and diplomatic ties with Havana as well as saying he would merely modify them. He suggested Saturday that he was open to a "journey towards prosperity and liberty."

In a telegram to Cuban President Raul Castro, Fidel's 85-year-old brother, Pope Francis offered "my sense of grief to your excellency and family."

Francis broke from the Vatican's usual practice of having the secretary of state send official condolences. In a mark of the esteem the pope held for Castro, whom he met during a visit to Cuba last year, Francis signed the telegram himself.

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Castro as a "sincere and reliable friend of Russia."

"The name of this distinguished statesman is rightly considered the symbol of an era in modern world history," Putin said in a telegram to Raul Castro.

In the United States, Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), the son of Cuban immigrants and a longtime critic of the Castro regime, said Castro's passing was a reminder of his repressive tactics.

"Today I woke up to hundreds of emails and texts from friends and supporters . . . and they all expressed joy at the death of Fidel Castro," said Menendez, who called for a rollback of trade liberalization instituted by Obama. "And I understand, but today I find no real joy. Too many families have been torn apart, too many killed, too many imprisoned and tortured. . . ."

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), who also advocates a continued tough anti-Cuba policy, said Obama's statement was "pathetic."

"No mention of thousands he killed & imprisoned," Rubio said on Twitter. The Republican told Fox News he hoped the administration would not send anyone to Castro's funeral.

Some hope Castro's death could build momentum for lifting the embargo, something that has bipartisan support in Congress, especially from states that stand to benefit economically.

"We need a new chapter here," Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a Democrat who has introduced bipartisan legislation to lift the embargo, said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who met with Castro in 2014, said: "Under former President Castro, Cuba made advances in the fields of education, literacy and health. I hope Cuba will continue to advance on a path of reform and greater prosperity."

The warmest words of condolence came from leftist nations in places like Africa, once home to liberation struggles where Cuba participated.

Recalling Castro's close relationship with South Africa's late president, Nelson Mandela, and support for the fight against apartheid, the country's current leader, Jacob Zuma, thanked Castro for inspiring his people "to join us in our own struggle."

Chinese President Xi Jinping praised Castro's role in spreading communism in the world and lamented the loss of "a close comrade."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined the chorus of admirers, calling Castro "a legendary revolutionary and orator" and a "remarkable leader."

"While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro's supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for el Comandante," said Trudeau, whose late father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, had a warm friendship with Castro.

Trudeau's reaction prompted criticism from Rubio and fellow Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

"Is this a real statement or a parody? Because if this is a real statement from the PM of Canada it is shameful [and] embarrassing," Rubio tweeted.

Inquirer staff writer Chris Mondics contributed to this article, which also contains information from the Associated Press and Bloomberg news service.