HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba’s National Assembly accused U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday of wanting to eliminate Fidel Castro, a day after Bush mused on the eventual death of the convalescing Cuban leader.
“The Bush administration’s conduct clearly shows its intention to continue employing execrable methods against Cuba,” the assembly said in a resolution approved unanimously by the 527 deputies present at a meeting of the one-party state’s parliament.
The resolution was passed one day after Bush openly anticipated the death of the 80-year-old Castro, who has not been seen in public since health problems forced him to cede power temporarily to his younger brother Raul 11 months ago.
“One day, the good Lord will take Fidel Castro away,” Bush said on Thursday during a question-and-answer session at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
Then he went on to imagine what Cuba would be like after Castro, saying: “You’ll see an interesting debate. Some will say all that matters is stability ... I think we ought to be pressing hard for democracy.”
Castro, whose seat was left vacant at the assembly meeting, fired back with irony in an editorial published on Friday in the ruling Communist Party newspaper Granma.
“Now I understand why I survived Bush’s plans and the plans of other presidents who ordered my assassination: the good Lord protected me,” he wrote.
Castro has long been a thorn in the side of the United States, which has enforced an economic embargo against the island for 45 years. Since coming to power in a 1959 revolution, the Cuban leader has seen 10 U.S. presidents occupy the White House.
Documents released by the CIA this week showed that the spy agency worked with three American mobsters in a botched attempt on Castro’s life in the early 1960s.
The Cuban National Assembly said assassination attempts on Castro are “not things of the past and continue to be the policy of the current U.S. government.”
It added: “The CIA documents only reveal some of the plots to kill comrade Fidel Castro and to bring death and suffering to our people.”