Castro Wades Into Climate Change Debate


Though he has not been seen in public for over a year, Cuban leader Fidel Castro continues to excoriate President George W. Bush and U.S. policies from his sickbed via essays published in the Cuban press. In recent months, Castro's anti-U.S. tirades have swerved in a surprising direction: addressing environmental issues, and in particular, climate change. Most recently, Castro chastised Bush for asking Asia-Pacific leaders to sign a new framework on climate change that could compete with other international efforts.

Castro wrote that the U.S. and Australia, the host of last week's annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, never signed the Kyoto Protocol on energy security and climate change and their new proposal could hurt efforts to develop a follow-up plan to the U.N.-backed agreement.

Castro has also been vocal on the risks biofuels pose to developing countries. In March, he and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez criticized an agreement between the U.S. and Brazil to collaborate on research and development of ethanol, including wood-based production technologies. Castro noted that biofuels could divert land use from food production.

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