Fidel Castro: Obama "stupid"


The former Cuban leader


Adalberto Roque

Fidel Castro has surfaced once again.

Usually, this means either that he wants to reassure everyone that he's not dead, or that he feels the need to reassert his dislike for the United States.

This week, it was the latter

Castro wrote a letter to state media in response to a comment from U.S. President Barack Obama, who had said he would only change U.S. policy toward Cuba — which mostly amounts to a 50-year economic embargo, travel restrictions, and serious brow-furrowing — if the island changed first.

Castro had something to say about that. "How kind! How intelligent!" he wrote, in an article published in state media. When change comes to Cuba, Castro added, it won't be because of Washington.

"Perhaps that empire will fall first," he added. He also called Obama "stupid." That's on top of his comment earlier this week after Obama's address to the United Nations' General Assembly, which Castro deemed "gibberish."

Tension has spiked again between the two countries since Cuba jailed Alan Gross, a subcontractor for the U.S. government that Cuba convicted of attempting to overthrow the government. He was sentenced to serve 15 years, and has so far served 22 months of that sentence. Gross is 62 years old.

The latest attempt to secure his release, by Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico, failed so utterly that Richardson came away saying he was no longer friends with the Cubans. 

Castro, who stepped down in 2008 after passing power to his brother, Raul, has kept a low profile since then as the Cuban government has opened up slightly to allow businesses to grow and tolerate some dissent.