Castro: Obama Seems "Absolutely Sincere"

With a blog post entitled "Encounter with Cristina," former Cuban President Fidel Castro broke his prolonged halt in once-regular newspaper columns and his months-long absence from public view.

It was his first blog since Dec. 15. He had written an average of nine columns a month throughout 2008.

His meeting today with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez was his first meeting with a foreign visitor since Nov. 28, when he met with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. He did not meet with presidents of Panama and Ecuador when they were in Havana earlier this month.

Castro writes:

Speaking about the United States, I pointed out the historic importance for Cuba that at noon yesterday there were ten presidents who during 50 years, despite the enormous power of that country, could not destroy the Cuban Revolution.

I said that I personally did not harbor the slightest doubt of the honesty with which Obama, the 11th President since Jan. 1, 1959, expressed his ideas, but that despite his noble intentions there remained many unanswered questions. As an example, I asked myself: how can a wasteful consumer society par excellence preserve the environment.

Speaking to the press just prior to boarding her plane back to Argentina, Fernandez said Castro had told her that he "had followed the inauguration of Barack Obama very closely, that he had watched the inauguration on television all day. He expressed a very good perception of President Obama, he told me that not only did he have a very good record as a political leader but that he saw him as absolutely sincere, and the he believed sincerely in his ideas and expressed them strongly. That hopefully he could carry them out."