Castro heads protest against US

President Fidel Castro sent hundreds of thousands of Cuban marchers past the US mission in Havana on Tuesday to protest a 1.5 metre-high ticker that...

Castro heads protest against US

President Fidel Castro sent hundreds of thousands of Cuban marchers past the US mission in Havana on Tuesday to protest a 1.5 metre-high ticker that streams news and human rights messages across its windows.

Fidel Castro accused the Bush administration of 'perfidious' provocation of a new crisis between Havana and Washington.

As he climbed the podium to send off the march, the US ticker flashed 'Conservatives win elections in Canada' and other headlines in bright red letters behind him and in full view of the marchers.

The headlines were followed by quotes from Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and Lech Walesa, founder of the Solidarity movement that toppled Poland's communist government and led to the collapse of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe.

"They have turned on the display. How brave the cockroaches are. Little Bush must have sent the order," an angry Castro said.

The communist leader, who turns 80 in August, was dressed in his trademark military fatigues, but did not join the march past the US mission on Havana's Malecon seafront, as he has in previous protests.

The two governments, bitter enemies since Castro came to power in a 1959 revolution, do not have formal diplomatic relations and are represented by interests offices opened in each other's capital during the Carter administration. Washington has enforced sanctions against Communist-run Cuba since 1962.

"The government of the United States ... is planning to force a rupture in the current minimum diplomatic links with Cuba. The gross provocations by its Interests Section in Havana can have no other purpose," Castro said in his speech.

The ticker began displaying messages across 25 windows of its fifth floor on Jan. 16 when it flashed "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up" from US civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr's famed 1963 speech.

US diplomats said the display is aimed at breaking the "information blockade" or censorship in a country where the media is state-run.

Source: Dawn

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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