Castro rejects Bush ideas of democracy

Sunday, June 2, 2002

HOLGUIN, Cuba -- In a blistering speech before hundreds of thousands of people in a drenching rain Saturday, President Fidel Castro said the democracy President Bush wants to see in Cuba would be a corrupt and unfair system that ignores the poor.

"For Mr. W, democracy only exists where money solves everything and where those who can afford a $25,000-a-plate dinner -- an insult to the billions of people living in the poor, hungry and underdeveloped world -- are the ones called to solve the problems of society and the world," Castro said in his continuing attack on Bush's hard line policies toward the island.

"Don't be a fool, Mr. W," Castro said. "Show some respect for the minds of people who are capable of thinking... Show some respect for others and for yourself."

Castro's early morning address is part of Cuba's answer to Bush's May 20 speeches in Washington and Miami, promising trade sanctions against Cuba would not be lifted until all political prisoners are freed, independently monitored elections are allowed for a "new government that is fully democratic."

A week ago, Castro made a similar speech answering Bush's declarations, telling Americans that they should never fear an attack by Cuba and can always count on this communist country's support in the war against terrorism.

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