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Fidel Castro Praises Brother for Silence on Russian Bombers

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro says his brother was right to adopt a "dignified silence" about a newspaper report that Russia may soon station nuclear-capable bombers on the island.

In comments posted on a government Web site Wednesday, the former president said Cuba does not owe the United States any explanations, excuses or calls for forgiveness over the issue.

Fidel's younger brother, Raul Castro, became president in February, after the elder Castro resigned nearly five decades after taking power in a revolution. Raul had been interim president since July 2006.

On Monday, the Russian newspaper "Izvestia" quoted a source as saying Moscow is considering stationing military aircraft in Cuba in response to U.S. plans to deploy a missile-defense system in eastern Europe.

The RIA-Novosti news agency in Russia Thursday quotes a Russian defense ministry spokesman, Ilshat Baichurin, as saying Moscow regards reports from anonymous sources as disinformation.

Tuesday in Washington, U.S. Air Force General Norton Schwartz said Moscow would be crossing a "red line" if the report was true and it went ahead with the plans.

Moscow has voiced strong opposition to the U.S. missile defense plan, under which missile guidance radar would be placed in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles would be based in Poland. Russia also has threatened unspecified measures against Prague and Warsaw if they host the U.S. system.

The Bush administration says the system is aimed at protecting the United States and its European allies from potential attack by Iran.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.