Latin America & Caribbean

Castro 'misinterpreted' on Cuba economic model quote

Fidel Castro in Havana on 3 September, 2010
Image caption Castro invited Jeffrey Goldberg to Cuba for the interview

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has said that his recent comment about Cuba's economic model was misinterpreted by a US reporter.

Mr Castro was quoted earlier this week by journalist Jeffrey Goldberg as saying that "the Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore".

But speaking at the University of Havana, Mr Castro, 84, said he meant "exactly the opposite".

Mr Castro led Cuba for almost 50 years after the 1959 communist revolution.

He fell ill in 2006 and handed power to his brother Raul in 2008.

Since then, his public appearances have been rare, but in recent months he has made a series of public speeches and televised appearances.

Reducing state control

Mr Castro was speaking at the presentation of his autobiography at the University of Havana on Friday.

On Wednesday, Mr Goldberg, a journalist with The Atlantic magazine based in Washington, DC, wrote that he had asked Mr Castro during a recent interview if Cuba's model was still worth exporting to other countries.

The journalist, whom Mr Castro had personally invited to Cuba, wrote that Mr Castro answered: "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore."

The alleged comment came as the current Cuban leader, Fidel's younger brother, Raul Castro, is reducing the state's control of the economy and allowing private ownership on the communist island.

Last month, Raul Castro announced to the National Assembly that small businesses would now be permitted and small business owners would have the right to employ and pay employees.

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