Fidel Castro Celebrates 90th by Criticizing Obama

He has words for the president in his 90th-birthday letter
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 14, 2016 1:28 PM CDT
Cuba's former President Fidel Castro attends a gala for his 90th birthday at the 'Karl Marx' theater in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016.   (Ismael Francisco)
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(Newser) – Fidel Castro thanked Cubans for their well-wishes on his 90th birthday Saturday and criticized President Barack Obama in a lengthy letter published in state media. In his letter, Castro accompanied his thanks with reminiscences about his childhood and youth in eastern Cuba, describing the geology and plant life of the region where he grew up. He touched on his father's death shortly before his own victory in overthrowing US-backed strongman Fulgencio Batista in 1959. "Modern medical techniques have allowed me to scrutinize the universe," wrote Castro, who stepped down as Cuba's president 10 years ago after suffering a severe gastrointestinal illness, reports the AP.

Castro returns at the end to criticize Obama, who appeared to anger the revolutionary leader with a March trip to Cuba in which he called for Cubans to look toward the future. In Saturday's letter, he criticizes Obama for not apologizing to the Japanese people during a May trip to Hiroshima, describing Obama's speech there as "lacking stature." He appeared but did not speak at a gala in his honor broadcast on state television. Just after 6pm, footage showed him slowly approaching his seat at Havana's Karl Marx theater, clad in a white Puma tracksuit top and green shirt. He sat in what appeared to be a specially equipped wheelchair and watched a musical tribute by a children's theater company, accompanied by footage of highlights from his decades in power. (Read more Fidel Castro stories.)

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