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Globalization - Countries - Cuba

Castro Urges Protest of Bush's Criticism

MIAMI, June 11 — President Fidel Castro of Cuba has called for "massive marches" on Wednesday to protest the Bush administration's hard-line policies against his government and support a move to declare socialist Cuba "untouchable."

Mr. Castro announced the demonstrations in a speech on Monday in which he rejected President Bush's calls for free elections and respect for human rights in Cuba.

"We are not a military power, but a moral and patriotic one," Mr. Castro said, according to an article today in Granma, the Communist Party newspaper, "a nation with a profound sentiment of justice and freedom that can only prosper with this socialist system."

Cuba's economy has been buffeted. Venezuela has suspended much-needed oil shipments, consumer prices have risen and tourism has been slow. To make up for a reduced flow of dollars, the government recently began accepting the euro.

But rather than ease his stance against the United States, Mr. Castro been increasingly defiant.


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