Castro Offers His Take On Obama

Here's something Barack Obama could probably do without: Kind words from longtime Cuban president Fidel Castro, who recently stepped aside as his country's leader.

In a column noted by the New York Times that was published in Cuban newspapers and is available in English here, Castro writes that Obama is "the most progressive candidate to the U.S. presidency" and suggests he possesses "great intelligence."

"He is a talented orator and is ahead of his rivals in the electoral race," Castro writes in the (long) column. "I feel sympathy for his wife and little girls, who accompany him and give him encouragement every Tuesday. It is indeed a touching human spectacle."

The column is not exactly an endorsement, however, as Castro spends much of it criticizing the Democratic frontrunner for his stated Cuba policy. (Obama would not end America's trade embargo against the country.)

"Obama portrays the Cuban Revolution as anti-democratic and lacking in respect for freedom and human rights," Castro writes. "It is the exact same argument which, almost without exception, U.S. administrations have used again and again to justify their crimes against our country. The blockade, in and of itself, is an act of genocide. I don't want to see U.S. children inculcated with those shameful values."

Castro seems aware that any kind words he offers Obama might not be in the Democratic frontrunner's best interest.

"Were I to defend him, I would do his adversaries an enormous favor," Castro writes. "I have therefore no reservations about criticizing him and about expressing my points of view on his words frankly."