Former Cuban President Fidel Castro ripped the president for his comments about democracy and human rights.
Obama met with current Cuban President Raul Castro, but did not meet with his older brother Fidel.
While in Cuba last week, Obama talked about America’s shortcomings and even compared the Cuban and American revolutions. Obama also praised Cuba’s education and health care systems. But that wasn’t enough to please the former dictator.
Castro's missive, titled "Brother Obama," rejected the idea that his country needs U.S. assistance to stay afloat, arguing that Cuba is perfectly capable of producing the food and economic prosperity needed by its 11 million citizens. Responding to Obama's suggestion that his visit should allow both countries to "leave the past behind," Castro bristled, citing the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and the five-decade-old economic embargo as realities that can never be forgotten.
"I suppose all of us were at risk of a heart attack upon hearing these words from the President of the United States," Castro wrote in Cuba's state-controlled newspaper, Granma. "Nobody should be under the illusion that the people of this dignified and selfless country will renounce the glory, the rights or the spiritual wealth they have gained with the development of education, science and culture."
In El Granma, the official state newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, the elder Castro griped that Obama overlooked the positive aspects of the Cuban revolution.
“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.”
The United States and Cuba normalized relations in 2014.
But demonstrating he isn’t quite ready to move on, Castro also wrote the Bay of Pigs invasion by the Kennedy administration as a “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 also blasted America, bemoaning, “help that racist South Africa had received from [Ronald] Reagan and Israel.”
“I do not know what Obama has to say on this story now,” Castro wrote. He added, “My modest suggestion is to reflect and do not try now to develop theories about Cuban politics.”
He further wrote, “Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because it is our commitment to peace and brotherhood of all human beings living on this planet.”
“We don’t need any gifts from the empire,” Castro wrote in a scathing article, addressed to “Brother Obama” and published in Granma, the Cuban Communist Party newspaper.
He went on to criticize America’s treatment of Cuba…
He offered a “modest suggestion” that the American president reflect on that history “and not offer elaborate theories about Cuban politics.”
“Each of us probably had a heart attack” while listening to Obama, Castro wrote. “After nearly 60 years of ruthless blockade. And how many have died from mercenary attacks on boats, in Cuban ports, on an airplane full of passengers that exploded in full flight, in mercenary invasions and multiple acts of violence and force?