Latin America & Caribbean

Fidel Castro: US ready to order Libya invasion

Fidel Castro speaks during a meeting with Cuban and foreign intellectuals visiting Havana's International book fair on 15 February
Image caption Fidel Castro regularly attacks the US in his columns

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro says the US has no interest in seeing peace in Libya but is solely concerned with the country's oil reserves.

Mr Castro, in a column published in state media, said it was too early to evaluate what was happening in Libya.

But, he said, it was clear the US would not hesitate to order Nato to invade.

Mr Castro led Cuba for almost 50 years after the 1959 communist revolution before officially handing over to his brother Raul in 2008.

In his latest "Reflections", Fidel Castro outlines the importance of oil and what he argues is the long-standing aim of the US to control supplies.

"What is for me absolutely evident is that the government of the United States is not worried at all about peace in Libya," he writes.

Instead, Washington will not hesitate to order a Nato invasion of the oil-rich North African country, in "a matter of hours or a few days".

Mr Castro makes no direct reference to reports from Libya that clashes between security forces and protesters left hundreds dead.

"We will have to wait the necessary time to know exactly how much is truth or lies," Mr Castro writes.

Mr Castro and Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi have been allies for many years, sharing both a revolutionary history and fierce opposition to the US.

Mr Castro handed over control of Cuba to Raul Castro in 2006 after falling ill in 2006. He officially stepped down as president two years later.

Despite some easing of economic restrictions by Raul Castro, Cuba remains a one-party state.

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