US still world cop despite kinder Obama: Raul Castro

Leaked cables show the US still acts as "world`s policeman", said Cuban Prez.

Last Updated: Dec 19, 2010, 11:15 AM IST

Havana: Leaked diplomatic cables show that the United States still acts as the "world`s policeman" despite US President Barack Obama`s "friendly rhetoric”, Cuban President Raul Castro said.

Referring to the thousands of secret US diplomatic cables disclosed by WikiLeaks, Castro said on Saturday they showed that Washington, "while hiding behind friendly rhetoric, is essentially sticking to the same policies of old and still acts like the world`s policeman."

On closing the 2010 session of the National Assembly, Castro said the WikiLeaks disclosures were "scandalous" and the Obama administration was following in the footsteps of its predecessor, especially regarding its hardline policy toward Cuba.

“(The) US policy toward Cuba has absolutely no credibility. They have no choice but to resort to lying," like "the outrageous fib that we`re a country that sponsors international terrorism”.

He slammed Washington for not lifting its 49-year economic embargo against Cuba, despite an international call for it to do so backed by 187 countries at the UN General Assembly in October.

The communist Cuban President also defended his limited economic reform plans from criticism that he was steering Cuba toward capitalism.

The economic reforms the next Communist Party Congress is expected to approve in April include firing more than one million government employees and expanding the private sector to create new jobs, opening the country to some foreign investment.

He said the upcoming measures are subject of discussions among workers and the Cuban people in Parliament in order to reach "a national consensus about the urgent need for strategic changes" in the economy.

"There will be no going back. Nobody should fool themselves. The changes point to the road to a future socialism adapted to Cuba`s conditions, not to its capitalist past," said Castro.

PTI