Latin America & Caribbean

Fidel Castro calls Obama UN speech 'gibberish'

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Venezuelan television journalist Mario Silva (left) talk during an interview in Havana on 4 September 2011 - picture released by CubaDebate
Fidel Castro gave an interview to Venezuelan television in early September

Cuba's ex-leader Fidel Castro says US President Barack Obama's recent address to the UN was "gibberish" and an attempt to justify the "unjustifiable".

In his first published article since July, Mr Castro also condemned the air raids by the US and its Nato allies on Libya as "a monstrous crime".

Fidel, 85, who handed over the presidency to his brother Raul in 2006, has had a low profile in recent months.

This has fuelled renewed speculation over his health, correspondents say.

Fidel Castro's latest two-part article takes aim at his longtime ideological foe, the US.

Quoting extensively from Mr Obama's speech last week to the UN General Assembly, Mr Castro said the US leader was trying to "explain the inexplicable and justify the unjustifiable".

"Who understands this gibberish of the president of the United States before the General Assembly?" Mr Castro wrote.

The US leader had distorted the situation in several countries, including Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Libya, Mr Castro said.

"Has any nation been excluded from the bloody threats of this illustrious defender of international peace and security?" Mr Castro said.

The articles are part of the "Reflections" the former Cuban leader writes and which are published by state media.

He had not written one of his columns recently, Mr Castro said, because of other work that was occupying all his time.

Fidel Castro was Cuba's leader for nearly 50 years before handing over the presidency to his younger brother, Raul, who was officially confirmed in the post in February 2008.

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