Fidel Castro responses to EU criticism on human rights
50 years later, Fidel Castro decided to break off political ties with the old continent, after the EU limited high-level bilateral government visits and reduced the profile of member states' participation in cultural events in Cuba.
Castro also said that
Last month, Cuban leaders headed a massive mobilization against EU new policy toward the island. Waving flags in front of the Italian and the Spanish embassies, President Fidel Castro, himself, led the marches in his traditional olive green uniform, while demonstrators carried pictures of the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the Spanish head of Government Jose Maria Azanar. Marchers accused both European leaders of being "fascists" for their position on Iraq's war, fiercely criticized by Havana.
Castro addressed a stormy speech to the crowd, in which he attacked European countries for ''plundering'' their colonies and leaving billions of people in poverty and underdevelopment. The Cuban leader also said that they should compensate African countries for ''the damage wreaked throughout centuries by slavery and colonialism.''
Castro's controversy with the EU is a risky bid for Cuba, especially for its weakened economy after 40 years of US blockade. Since the fall of the
Despite opening up to tourism and foreign investment, Cuba's economy never fully recovered from the collapse of Soviet Socialism. There was a Latin American joke in the eighties, which says that 90 per cent of Siberian snow was not snow but Cuban sugar. In fact, the