Fidel Castro used the occasion of his 90th birthday to lash out once more against President Obama, after months of steady progress in normalizing the relations with the USA and Cuba.
The former president thanked supporters for their great wishes, and in a long letter published on Saturday, criticized Obama for the second time, after the American’s historic visit to the communist island nation in March. This time the target of Castro’s ire was a speech Obama delivered in May for the people of Japan, as the first president who went to visit Hiroshima – site of the atomic bombing 71 years ago, and never apologized for the bombing .
“I believe that the United States’ president’s speech lacked stature when he visited Japan,” Castro wrote, “and it lacked an apology for the killing of hundreds of thousands of people in Hiroshima, in spite of the fact that they knew the effects of the bomb. The attack on Nagasaki was equally criminal, a city that the powerful chose at random. It’s for that reason that I must hammer on the necessity of preserving peace, and that no power has the right to kill millions of human beings.”
Fidel Castro stepped down from the presidency, 8 years ago, when his younger brother Raul replaced him. Raul Castro has opened the U.S. Embassy in Havana, welcomed Obama on his visit and even opened up tourism. This letter will not stop the progress the two countries had. In near future, commercial flights to Cuba will begin, and with that the tourism will boost.
Obama, meanwhile, told the Cuban people in a speech broadcast live on state TV that “it is time for us to look forward to the future together–a future of hope. 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.”