A letter allegedly penned by retired Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in state propaganda outlet Granma uses the occasion of his 90th birthday to condemn President Barack Obama for not properly apologizing to Japan for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.
In a column titled “The Birthday,” a writer alleged to be reportedly still-alive Fidel Castro recounts the story of how he made it to his first day of school in first grade. Most of the column discusses his parents and siblings, and he claims to have suffered hunger as a child.
The column then abruptly changes topics to global overpopulation and praise for China and Russia. “The human race faces today the largest risk in its history,” the writer claims. “The planet’s population has elevated from one billion in the year 1800 to seven billion in early 2016. How many will there be within a few more years?”
“Great powers like China and Russia cannot be subjected to threats of using nuclear weapons,” he continues. “They are peoples of great intelligence and valor.” This he follows up with, presumably, a people who are not of great intelligence and valor.
“The President of the United States’ speech when he visited Japan lacked stature, and it lacked words of apology for the massacre of hundreds of thousands of people in Hiroshima,” writes “Fidel Castro.”
“Equally criminal was the attack on Nagasaki, a city chosen by chance by the owners of life. … No power has the right to kill millions of human beings.”
President Obama delivered the speech in question in May, when he became the first American president to visit Hiroshima on the anniversary of the bombing. He used the occasion to condemn those who use religion as a “license to kill,” without addressing any religion in particular or tying the violence of World War II to that theme.
The elder allegedly alive Castro brother celebrated his birthday with a public appearance at Havana’s Karl Marx Theater, alongside allies such as Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro. The audience was feted with a screening of the documentary My Brother Fidel and a performance by Cuban singer-songwriter and longtime communist bard Silvio Rodríguez.
Granma also published birthday greetings from foreign leaders, including “dear friend” Vladimir Putin, who wrote, “In Russia you enjoy great respect as a distinguished statesman who dedicated his whole life to the service of Cuba.”
Fidel Castro has a long record of committing human rights violations and crimes against humanity, including the systematic killing of Christians and LGBT Cubans in internment camps and the establishment of a Cuban doctor “slave trade” system.
Castro has been particularly critical of President Obama following the latter’s decision to open diplomatic dialogue with Cuba without demanding any changes to its violent communist system. A column allegedly penned by Fidel Castro following President Obama’s visit to Cuba condemned Obama for being racist against Native Americans, rejecting President Obama’s overtures to communists to abandon their “spiritual wealth.”
In addition to remarks allegedly from Fidel Castro himself, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez referred to the President’s visit to Havana as an “attack … on our values,” and state media condemned Obama as a “negro” looking to “incite rebellion and disorder.”
While in Havana, President Obama posed in front of an image of communist mass murderer Ernesto “Che” Guevara in the city’s Plaza of the Revolution and announced during his remarks to the Cuban people that he had arrived to “bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas.”
President Obama’s visit to Havana triggered a wave of violent repression that culminated with nearly 1500 arbitrary arrests of political dissidents in the month of March, hundreds arrested while he was present on the island.