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Updated: October 11, 2009 23:24 IST

Repudiation of Obama’s predecessors: Castro

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Fidel Castro
AP Fidel Castro

Cuban leader Fidel Castro has hailed the award of the Nobel peace prize to U.S. President Barack Obama.

The former Cuban leader, who handed over power to his brother Raul last year after falling seriously ill, made it clear that he believed the Nobel award was primarily a “repudiation” of Mr. Obama’s predecessors.

“Many believe that he still has not earned the right to receive such a distinction. But we would like to see, more than a prize for the U.S. President a criticism of the genocidal policies that have been followed by more than a few Presidents of that country,” Mr. Castro wrote in his column published in the state media.

Mr. Castro said he had often disagreed with the choice of Norway’s Nobel judges. But this time, he noted in his column: “I must admit that in this case, in my opinion, it was a positive step.”

In fact, in his regular “Reflections of Comrade Fidel” writings, Mr. Castro has praised some of Mr. Obama’s policies in recent months, while criticising him for not lifting the U.S. trade embargo on the Caribbean island, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.

Mr. Obama on Friday won the Nobel peace prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy”, for giving the world “hope for a better future”, and striving for “nuclear disarmament”, an honour that immediately sparked controversy worldwide and one the recipient himself appeared shocked to receive.

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