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Cuba's Fidel Castro Criticizes Obama 


Former Cuban president Fidel Castro is asking U.S. President Barack Obama some pointed questions about U.S. policies towards Cuba over the past 50 years.

In an article posted on a state-run Web site, Mr. Castro asks if Mr. Obama is aware of what he called "sinister" actions carried out by former U.S. presidents, including the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. Mr. Castro also questions the fairness of the longstanding U.S. economic embargo against Cuba.

Mr. Obama has said he would be willing to speak with Cuba's leaders but that he would maintain the embargo as leverage to push for democratic change on the island.

In the Fidel Castro essay called "Contradictions between Obama's Politics and Ethics," the ailing former leader also points out problems he sees with Mr. Obama's own policies.

He asks how Mr. Obama's promise of U.S. energy independence will affect countries that depend on oil exports for money. He also targets the U.S. president's pledge to manufacture energy efficient cars and create nuclear power plants, asking whether such actions can be done without damaging the climate or violating ethics.

Mr. Castro made clear that it is not his intention to blame Mr. Obama for things done before he was born or when he was a child.

Last week, the former Cuban leader published an essay demanding that the U.S. president return Guantanamo Bay to the Cuban people.

Mr. Obama has ordered the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo closed within a year. But Fidel Castro and his brother, President Raul Castro, want the entire base closed and the land returned.

The 82-year-old Fidel Castro has not been seen in public since undergoing intestinal surgery in July 2006. Details of his health are considered a state secret.

Some information for this report was provided by AP

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