By ANITA SNOW
Posted May 29 2007, 10:40 AM EDT
HAVANA -- Fidel Castro said in a statement published Tuesday that
President Bush is waiting for him to die, but cannot kill his ideas.
The latest in a series of essays by the 80-year-old Castro, who has not
been seen in public since becoming ill more than 10 months ago, was
published on the front page of the Communist Party daily Granma.
The Cuban leader said that Bush, asked recently about his Cuba policy,
replied: ``I'm a hard-line president and I'm only waiting for Castro to
``I'm not the first, nor will I be the last, who Bush has ordered to be
deprived of life,'' said Castro, who offered no details of the alleged
American law now prohibits the U.S. government from ordering the
assassination of foreign leaders, but declassified U.S. documents show
that the CIA made numerous attempts to kill Castro in the early years
after the 1959 Cuban revolution.
``Ideas are not killed,'' Castro wrote.
He criticized the Bush administration for spending on weaponry while
people in developing nations go hungry.
``I ask myself how many doctors can graduate with the 100 billion
dollars that in just one year fall into Bush's hands to continue to sow
mourning in Iraqi and American homes,'' he wrote. ``The answer: 999,990
doctors, who could attend to 2 billion people who today receive no
Castro shocked Cuba on July 31 when he announced that he had undergone
emergency intestinal surgery and was stepping aside provisionally for
his younger brother Raul, the defense minister, during his recovery.
Although senior Cuban officials have said Castro is on the mend, it
seems more unlikely with time that the bearded leader will return to power.
Castro's exact ailment and condition remain state secrets, but he is
widely believed to suffer from diverticular disease, which causes sacs
in the colon that can become inflamed and bleed.