In a full page column titled “El hermano Obama” published in the Cuban communists party newspaper ” Granma”, the former Cuban president rejected Obama’s visit and words of reconciliation . He reprimanded president Obama on Obama’s relative youth, the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and roles the two countries played in bringing apartheid regime in South Africa to an end.
During his two-day visit to Cuba, the first of any U.S. president to Cuba in 88 years, Obama was seen frequently with Cuban President Raul Castro. In addition to a bilateral meeting and a joint news conference, the men dined together at a state dinner and attended a U.S.- Cuba baseball game while president Obama did not meet with Fidel Castro during the trip.
“It is time for us to look forward to the future together — a future of hope,” Obama said in a speech that was carried on Cuban state-TV. “And it won’t be easy, and there will be setbacks. It will take time. But my time here in Cuba renews my hope and my confidence in what the Cuban people will do. We can make this journey as friends, and as neighbors, and as family — together.”
He accused president Obama that “Native populations do not exist at all in the minds of Obama,” Castro wrote further that, “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.”
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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.”
In referring to the origins of South Africa’s nuclear weapons, Castro mentioned the “help that racist South Africa had received from [Ronald] Reagan’s administration and Israel.” “I do not know what Obama has to say on this story now,” Castro wrote, adding, “although it is very doubtful that I knew absolutely nothing.” Castro further stressed that “My modest suggestion is to reflect and do not try now to develop theories about Cuban politics.”
Castro concluded that Cuba “has no need of gifts” from the United States, “Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because it is our commitment to peace and brotherhood of all human beings living on this planet.”