HAVANA, (Reuters) – Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro took his warning of impending nuclear war to Cuba’s Foreign Ministry yesterday, where he explained the reasons for his dire prediction in his fifth public appearance in 10 days.
Castro’s sudden re-emergence after four years in seclusion has raised questions about what it all means. But his message has been consistent — a devastating war is at hand if the United States, in alliance with Israel, tries to enforce international sanctions against Iran for its nuclear activities.
He also has predicted the United States will attack North Korea.
His latest outing was reported on state-run website www.cubadebate.cu, which said he met with Cuban ambassadors at the ministry in Havana and that a videotape of the session would be shown on Friday evening on national television.
It said Castro, 83, talked with the ambassadors for 1-1/2 hours, during which he showed them news reports and political analyses that were the basis of his prediction. He also fielded questions, the report said.
Foreign Ministry employees and people from the surrounding neighbourhood gave him a spontaneous send-off with a “prolonged ovation and emotional (shouts of) ‘Viva’“ as he left, it said.
Castro disappeared from public view following emergency intestinal surgery in July 2006 and ceded power to his younger brother, now President Raul Castro.
He resurfaced on July 7 at a scientific research center in Havana and has since made several appearances in person and in a videotaped television interview.
Theories abound about why the man who ruled Cuba for 49 years after taking power in a 1959 revolution has returned to public view. The only things known are that he keeps pushing his warning of war and that it all coincides with Cuba’s biggest release of political prisoners since 1998, in a deal cut with the Catholic Church.
The Church announced on July 7 that 52 political prisoners, or about a third of the island’s jailed dissidents, would be freed over the next few months.