Belfast Telegraph

Fidel Castro: Bush is waiting for me to die

Convalescing Cuban leader Fidel Castro said in a statement published today that US President George Bush is waiting for him to die but the American leader cannot kill his ideas.

The latest in a series of essays by the 80-year-old Castro, who has not been seen in public since becoming ill more than 10 months ago, was published on the front page of the Communist Party daily Granma.

The Cuban leader said that Bush, recently asked by an important person about his Cuba policy, replied: ``I'm a hard-line president and I'm only waiting for Castro to die.''

Castro said: ``I'm not the first, nor will I be the last, that Bush has ordered to be deprived of life,'' said Castro, who offered no details of the alleged conversation.

American law now prohibits the US government from ordering the assassination of foreign leaders, but declassified US documents show that the CIA made numerous attempts to kill Castro in the early years after the 1959 Cuban revolution. ``Ideas are not killed,'' Castro wrote in his essay of the same name.

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