Shortly after US president George W. Bush praised a plan to realize a “transition to democracy” in Cuba, Fidel Castro challenged Washington to be “clear” about such plans, and criticized American capitalism.
“The US economy hangs by a thread”, told the 77-year old revolutionary leader, in a 4 Ѕ hours speech addressed to economists from all around the world, in Havana.
In his speech, Castro also wondered whether those plans involve a plot to kill him. Since he took power in Cuba in 1959, the CIA has plotted to assassinate him 600 times, all unsuccessful, of course.
Castro, also made a defense of his revolution stating that Cuba, after four decades under Washington's economic blockade, “continues to offer free health care and has an infant mortality rate lower than that in the United States”. "The great difference" between Cuba and the United States is that Cuba "has learned to do a lot with very little," Castro said at the Sixth International Meeting of Economists on Globalization and Development Problems.
However, Castro's attacks to the US Bush-led administration did not end there. After laundering “keen observations” made by the US economist, Daniel L. McFadden, the Cuban leader said that the United States, with a fiscal deficit of more than $520 billion, was handling its economy as a “banana republic”.
Then, the attacks were straight to the White House. Making fun of George W. Bush mistakes, Castro said Bush couldn't debate a Cuban ninth-grader," as he leaned across the podium.
Fidel Castro also lashed out at what he called the foolishness of the US economic blockade, saying it has not stopped Cuba from surpassing the United States in many areas. Cuba, he said, has no illiteracy, a lower infant mortality rate than the United States, lower student-teacher ratios, and higher levels of educational achievement.
George W. Bush promised to set up a plan “to drive Cuba into democracy” early this year, as part of his campaign to obtain Cuban-exiled in Florida at the presidential race of 2004. However, neither the White House, nor the State Department made clear the details of such plans.