(I made up this title. See comments for reason why)
Cuba’s Fidel Castro published his first editorial since his July surgery on Thursday, signing his name to a scathing article on US biofuel plans for Thursday’s edition of the Communist Party newspaper Granma.
The article -e-mailed to the media in the early hours of Thursday and later posted on Granma’s web site -said nothing about Castro’s state of health, but signalled that the convalescing leader is following world affairs closely.
In Thursday’s article, Castro said more than 3 billion people in the world were condemned to die prematurely of hunger or thirst from plans by his ideological foe, the United States, to convert foodstuffs like corn into fuel for cars.
“This is not an exaggerated figure, it’s more likely cautious,” Castro wrote in the ruling Communist Party’s daily newspaper. “I’ve been meditating quite a bit since President Bush’s meeting with North American automobile makers.”
He was commenting on a proposal by the Bush administration to cut gasoline use by 20 percent by 2017, mostly by increasing the use of fuels such as ethanol, made from home-grown corn.
Bush’s plan, unveiled in his State of the Union speech in late January, also counts on advances in making ethanol from other sources such as wood chips and switchgrass.
Castro said nothing about whether he intends to participate more actively in the government, after handing over day-to-day power to Raul Castro eight months ago.
The editorial, dated March 28, was sub-headed “Reflections of the Comandante in Chief” -a possible indication that Castro could from now on put his musings on world affairs down on paper, rather than in the lengthy speeches which have been the trademark of his more than four decades in power.
On Wednesday, Castro’s elder brother Ramon Castro said the recovering leader was in good shape, but shed no light on whether he could soon make a live public appearance.