Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro warned North Korea against war on Friday, and said that it is primarily the United States’ responsibility to prevent a conflict from breaking out.
Castro wrote the advice in a column — his first in nine months — for Cuban state media. He spoke as an ally, from one communist regime to another, in the wake of North Korea’s mounting threats of direct war with South Korea and the U.S.
Describing the current tensions in the Korean Peninsula as one of the “gravest risks” of nuclear holocaust since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Castro urged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to back away from the brink of war, and consider the harmful repercussions his actions might have on both Koreas and the world.
“Now that you have demonstrated your technical and scientific advances, we remind you of your duty to the countries that have been your great friends, and it would not be fair to forget that such a war would affect … more than 70 percent of the planet’s population,” Castro wrote.
Castro also called the present state of affairs surrounding North Korea “incredible and absurd.” If war were to arise, Castro said, the resulting images would paint President Barack Obama as “the most sinister person in the history of the United States.”
The 86-year-old Castro led Cuba from 1959 until 2008, when he retired and passed control of the government on to his younger brother, Raul Castro.