President Barack Obama did not meet with Fidel Castro during his historic visit to Cuba last week, but apparently that does not mean that Castro did not have any thoughts about el presidente norteamericano in his country.
Castro ripped into the president and his words during the visit in El Granma, the official state newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, bringing up Obama’s relative youth, the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the role of both countries in ending the apartheid in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent in an article titled “El hermano Obama.”
“Native populations do not exist at all in the minds of Obama,” Castro wrote. “Nor does he say that racial discrimination was swept away by the Revolution; that retirement and salary of all Cubans were enacted by this before Mr. Barack Obama was 10 years old.”
Referring to the 1961 failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs, Castro wrote of the U.S.’ “mercenary force with cannons and armored infantry, equipped with aircraft … trained and accompanied by warships and aircraft carriers in the U.S. raiding our country. Nothing can justify this premeditated attack that cost our country hundreds of killed and wounded.”
Castro referred also to Obama’s invocation of both countries’ role in the end of apartheid in South Africa, remarking upon his country’s 1975 intervention in Angola backing the leftist People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola against other U.S.-backed revolutionary forces. Ridding apartheid South Africa of nuclear weapons “was not the goal of our solidarity,” he wrote, “but [rather] to help the people of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and other fascist colonial rule of Portugal.”