Castro makes 1st official gov't speech

Cuban leader appeals to Obama to prevent global nuclear war.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 7, 2010 22:05
2 minute read.
Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

HAVANA — A lively and healthy-looking Fidel Castro appealed to President Barack Obama to prevent a global nuclear war in an emphatic speech Saturday that marked his first official government appearance since emergency surgery four years ago.

Castro's speech before the Cuban parliament, along with other numerous recent public appearances, raised questions about how much he will resume a leadership role.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Castro warns of nuclear war in ME
Fidel Castro accuses US of torturing Cuban spy

Castro, who turns 84 in a week, arrived on the arm of a subordinate, waving and smiling as the crowd applauded loudly in unison.

"Fidel, Fidel, Fidel!" the participants chanted. "Long live Fidel!"

Dressed in olive-green fatigues without military insignias, he immediately took the podium and delivered a fiery 11-minute speech on his fears of an impending global nuclear war. He implored Obama and other wealthy nations to make sure such an event never happens.

Castro then took a seat next to Parliament leader Ricardo Alarcon — instead of sitting in the chair that parliament members leave empty in his honor during his absence. Current President Raul Castro sat on the other side of the stage, where he listened intensely and took notes as his older brother spoke.



Lawmakers followed the speech with enthusiastic remarks to Fidel Castro about how fully recovered and healthy he appeared. They also commented on the topic at hand.

Asked by one parliamentarian if Obama would be capable of starting a nuclear war, Castro replied, "No, not if we persuade him not to."

He patted his hand on the desk for emphasis, then fell silent, seemingly surprising a crowd long accustomed to the hourslong speeches for which he was famous during his 49 years in power.

Castro's participation in Saturday's legislative session marks the bearded revolutionary's first official government act — and his first joint appearance with Raul — since his emergency intestinal surgery in 2006.

It was bound to raise questions about his future role in the government. Even before he confirmed his attendance at this weekend's gathering, top leaders and state media had begun calling him "commander in chief," a title he had largely shunned since relinquishing power.

Related Content

July 22, 2018
Accused Russian agent Butina met with Stanley Fischer

By REUTERS