Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro unleashed his first condemnation of US President Barack Obama, accusing him of following previous US administrations by supporting Israel's "genocide" of the Palestinians.
Castro attacked Obama for allegedly continuing the policies of his predecessor George W Bush in giving unwavering support to Israel, and hence "sharing the genocide against the Palestinians."
The former Cuban president highlighted statements made by the Obama administration that reiterated its strong support for the Jewish state, which recently fought a 22-day war against the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip.
In a foreign policy mission statement on its website, the US administration said its "incontrovertible commitment in the Middle East must be to the security of Israel, America's strongest ally in the Middle East."
According to the statement, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden "support this closeness, stating that the United States would never distance itself from Israel."
Castro, who gave up power to his brother Raul in July 2006 for health reasons, said the United States had enabled Israel to become an "important nuclear power," and kept on strengthening the military forces with which Israel "threatens extreme violence against the population of all Muslim countries."
In the article, published online on the website cubadebate.Cu, the former Cuban president also criticised Obama for suggesting Havana would have to make concessions before Washington considers returning the territory of the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay.