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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020

Castro on US presidential hopefuls: 'A contest of idiocy and ignorance'

The former Cuban leader has slammed the Republican Party candidates vying for the nomination to face Barack Obama in the autumn.

Image: Javier Galeano/AP/Press Association Images

THE FORMER CUBAN leader Fidel Castro has had strong words for the Republican Party presidential hopefuls branding the race for the nomination as “the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been heard.”

The two frontrunners in the race, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, this week emphasised their hardline positions on Cuba whose communist state has for decades defied the United States which has imposed a trade embargo on it for the past 50 years.

In response Castro has expressed his disgust with the field.

In his regular column in Cuba’s state run media he is quoted by Reuters as saying:

The selection of a Republican candidate for president of that globalised and encompassing empire is – I say this seriously – the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been heard.

Romney and Gingrich this week discussed the issue of Cuba in a debate held in Florida – the next state to hold a primary vote which will take place next week.

The New York Times notes that both candidates discussed whether the 85-year-old would go to heaven or hell when he died with Gingrich saying he would authorise covert actions to bring down the Cuban government.

Castro handed power over to his brother Raul in 2008. Now he mostly writes columns and meets with some visiting leaders.

Though the younger Castro, 80, has introduced some more liberal economic reforms whilst president, Cuba remains a largely socialist state as it has been since 1959.

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Explainer: What happens now in the US Republican primaries?

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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