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Fidel Castro:U.S. Biofuel Plan 'Genocidal'

April 4, 2007  by NewsMax

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Convalescing Cuban leader Fidel Castro blasted U.S. President George W. Bush's biofuel plan as "genocidal" in an editorial on Wednesday, saying it would worsen global hunger.

The column published as "Reflections of the Commander in Chief" in the ruling Communist Party newspaper Granma was the second in a week by Castro attacking Bush's proposals to increase the use of foodstuffs like corn for fuel to run cars.

It was the latest sign the 80-year-old revolutionary who has not appeared in public since undergoing surgery eight months ago is feeling better and keeping abreast of world affairs.

Unable to give speeches, the formerly verbose Castro has taken up the pen to attack his ideological nemesis, the U.S. government, focusing on the Bush administration's plan to increase fuel production from renewable crops instead of oil.

Ethanol production topped the agenda at Bush's meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at Camp David last week. The United States and Brazil are the world's top producers of the biofuel.

"At Camp David, Bush declared his intention to apply this formula on a world scale, which means none other than the internationalization of genocide," Castro wrote.

Dozens of nations do not have oil and cannot produce corn or other grains to make ethanol because they lack water, he said. The surge in demand for corn will push up grain prices, while the threat of a U.S. invasion of Iran is keeping oil prices high, Castro wrote.

"Where will the poor nations of the Third World get the minimum resources to survive?" he asked.

The column shed no new light on the health of Castro, who temporarily handed over power to his brother Raul on July 31 following emergency surgery to stop intestinal bleeding. Cuban officials say he is recovering well, but it is not known when or if he will resume the presidency.

Brazil has been making ethanol, a gasoline alternative, from sugar cane and running cars on it for three decades, but the United States became the world's biggest ethanol producer last year after Bush said the country was "addicted to oil." World corn prices rocketed. The Bush administration has proposed cutting U.S. gasoline consumption by 20 percent by 2017, mostly by increasing the use of fuels such as ethanol.

Reuters 2007.


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