Cuba’s Fidel Castro has called NATO a “military mafia” involved in a “genocidal” war in Afghanistan, as the alliance vows to keep troops there beyond a 2014 deadline.
In an article published on Tuesday, the former Cuban president called the Western military alliance an “aggressive institution” that ignored “billions of persons suffering from poverty, underdevelopment and food shortages.”
Castro also dismissed plans unveiled by Western leaders in the Lisbon summit last week to hand over security in Afghanistan to local forces by 2014.
He said he believes that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will be forced to “hand over power” to the Afghan resistance “in defeat.”
Castro’s comments come only days after Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed an agreement with NATO in the recent Lisbon conference, ensuring the presence of US and NATO forces there even beyond 2014 – a self-declared deadline for the end of NATO military operations in Afghanistan.
US President Barack Obama has meanwhile said that American forces will remain in Afghanistan even after other Western countries withdraw their troops, by far backtracking on an earlier pledge of a major drawdown from the war-torn country by July 2011.
“Obama already admitted that his promise to withdraw US soldiers from Afghanistan may be postponed….After the Nobel Prize, we would have to award him with the prize for ‘the best snake charmer’ that has ever existed,” Castro said.
Led by Obama’s predecessor, Goerge W. Bush, the Western military alliance started the Afghan war nine years ago under the pretext of rooting out Taliban militants.
However, NATO has admitted that the militants have increased their power in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion.