Castro: “How far will this hypocrisy go. In my judgment [Bush’s presence at the funeral] is an outrage to the memory of John Paul II.”
Castro said it was true Pope John Paul II opposed communism, but that in his later years he became a fierce critic of capitalism’s abuses and in particular U.S. imperialism. The Pope visited Cuba in 1998.
“Now they have gone to cry before the cadaver of John Paul II, who so opposed the war, who so opposed the Imperialist order, who so often condemned consumerism and this brutal war in Iraq,” Castro said during his televised address.
“How far will this hypocrisy go. In my judgment (Bush’s presence) is an outrage to the memory of John Paul II,” he said.
Castro’s government surprised many by declaring three days of mourning and granting ample state-run media coverage to the Roman Catholic Church’s activities after the Pope’s death.
National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon is heading the Cuban delegation to his funeral.
Castro and the Catholic Church have often been at odds since the famous Latin American rebel came to power in 1959 and repressed the church hierarchy for opposing him.
Castro attended a funeral mass for the Pontiff in Havana Cathedral on Monday. It was only the second time Castro had attended a service in the cathedral since his 1959 revolution.
Castro talked for more than four hours about the pope and his visit to Cuba. He quoted extensively from Pope John Paul’s criticisms of Third World poverty, foreign debt, excessive consumerism, exploitation and war.
The Cuban leader, dressed in his traditional military garb and appearing in good health, said the Pope had been falsely portrayed as “an angel of death for Communism and socialism” when the truth was he had become U.S. imperialism’s “biggest headache.”
Read more from Reuters/Yahoo.
Remember Castro’s July 2004 speech, “The Pathology of George Bush”?
On this 51st anniversary of the attack on the Moncada fortress on July 26, 1953 I shall address a sinister character that keeps threatening, insulting and slandering us. This is not a whim or an agreeable option; it is a necessity and a duty.
It’s quite worth reading in its entirety. Castro blasts Bush for inferring that Cuba attracts pedophile tourists and restricting American Cubans from visiting.
Hatred and blindness have lead this administration to take a stupid, immoral action under pressure from the terrorist mob which gave Bush a fraudulent victory when he had a million votes less than his rival nationwide, and a narrow majority of 537 votes in Florida where thousands of black Americans were prevented from exercising their right to vote whereas many dead people ‘exercised’ theirs. Fifteen or twenty thousand voters could sink his hopes of re-election. These brutal measures have also been criticized all over the country …
[H]e labels the tourist industry in Cuba sex tourism and calls those who visit our country coming from the United States “paedophiles” and “pleasure seekers”.
Mr Bush does not hesitate either in tarring Canadian tourists with the same brush when everybody knows that the overwhelming majority of them are pensioners and senior citizens …
Sidenote: It’s quite something to visit a Canadian city like Victoria, and see the windows of all the travel agencies, with their posters advertising great round-trip rates for travel to Cuba.
Castro draws heavily from the book by psychiatrist Justin Frank (“Bush On the Couch”). Then, towards the end of the speech:
Has no one told him that in Cuba before the triumph of the revolution in 1959 about 100,000 women were directly or indirectly involved in prostitution for reasons of poverty, discrimination and lack of work and that the Revolution educated these women and found them jobs, and outlawed the so-called “tolerance zones” which existed in the pseudo-republic and the neo-colony installed by the United States?
Has no one told him that the Cuban children, whose physical, mental and moral health is the number one priority of the Revolution, are protected by more severe laws than those of the United States and that they all attend school, including more than 50,000 who suffer from mental or physical disabilities and that, without exceptions, receive specialized care in special education centres?
Has no one told him that infant mortality is lower in Cuba than it is in the United States and that it continues to decrease?
Has no one dared to whisper in his ear that Cuba occupies an outstanding and internationally recognized place in education; that health and education services are free and extend to the whole population; that today programs are underway in education, health and culture that will place Cuba far above all the other countries in the world?
From Castro’s speech, “The Pathology of George Bush”