Fidel Castro appears again, warns of war

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.

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