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Castro obsessed with Obama: WikiLeaks
Washington, DEC 18 (Agencies):
Published on 19 Dec. 2010 12:54 AM IST
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Former Cuba president Fidel Castro had an obsession for US President Barack Obama, and praised him as a “very good communicator” with “impressive working capacity”, according to secret US diplomatic cables. The Guardian quoted the cables as saying that Castro, who had seen off 10 US presidents – all committed to his assassination, overthrow or isolation, found Obama different and became obsessed with him.
Earlier, he had predicted that the US would not elect a black man, but when Obama swept to the White House, Castro filled pages with praises for the President in his Reflections columns in the communist party newspaper.
“Fidel’s subsequent Reflection on June 9 will only add to speculation from our civil society and diplomatic contacts that Fidel is obsessed with President Obama,” the paper quoted one memo, as saying.
Earlier, Obama’s speech in Cairo on US relations with Muslims inspired a 3,500-word response from the retired Cuban leader in which he lauded Obama as a “very good communicator” with “impressive working capacity”. He noted that the President of the US, called “Potus” in the cables, took office at an “exceptionally complex time” and could not be blamed for the Middle East quagmire he inherited. Specifically, Fidel said, “One cannot blame the new president of the United States for the situation created in the Middle East...He takes office at an exceptionally complex time for his country and the world...It is still too early to pass judgment on his degree of commitment to the ideas he presents...”
In other Reflections columns, Castro, who called George Bush a genocidal drunk, praised Obama as intelligent, sincere, serene, honest and well-meaning. He welcomed the President’s Nobel peace prize and called his position on global warming ‘courageous’.
Both Sri Lankan govt, Tamil Tigers committed ‘human rights abuses’
Colombo, Dec 18 (Agencies): Secret US diplomatic cables released by the whistleblower website ‘Wikileaks’ have revealed that both the Sri Lankan government and the defeated Tamil Tigers had committed human rights abuses, and that the state had secretly carried out paramilitary activities including killings, child trafficking and organised prostitution during the war that ended in 2009.
According to the BBC, the cables dating from 2007 suggest that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) used systematic forced conscription during the war to recruit Tamil civilians to its forces.
Both the Tamil Tigers and Sri Lanka’s government have long faced accusations by human rights groups of committing abuses during the 26-year conflict.
The cables also said that the government was supporting extra-judicial behaviour by pro-government Tamil paramilitaries, led by men who are now ministers. They further claimed that one paramilitary was believed to be trafficking boys as workers and girls as prostitutes.
The BBC quoted one of the ministers allegedly involved in the crime, as saying the allegations were completely false.
“We are not involved in trafficking or extortions,” he added.
The cables have also accused pro-government paramilitaries and the Tigers of extorting money or food.

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