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Castro denounces ethanol

Fidel Castro has denounced the United States’ recent drive towards ethanol production as “sinister” and a threat to the “hungry masses” of the world. Castro, who clearly chooses his reading material with great discernment, made the comments in an op-ed piece for Granma, a newspaper controlled by the Cuban Communist Party. Castro has been unwell for many months, but his hatred ...

Fidel Castro has denounced the United States' recent drive towards ethanol production as "sinister" and a threat to the "hungry masses" of the world. Castro, who clearly chooses his reading material with great discernment, made the comments in an op-ed piece for Granma, a newspaper controlled by the Cuban Communist Party. Castro has been unwell for many months, but his hatred of the hegemon to the north appears undimmed. The story's headline read "Condemned to premature death by hunger and thirst more than three billion people." Castro described this figure as "cautious," and issued dire warnings about the West converting imported corn to ethanol while millions starve.

Fidel Castro has denounced the United States’ recent drive towards ethanol production as “sinister” and a threat to the “hungry masses” of the world. Castro, who clearly chooses his reading material with great discernment, made the comments in an op-ed piece for Granma, a newspaper controlled by the Cuban Communist Party. Castro has been unwell for many months, but his hatred of the hegemon to the north appears undimmed. The story’s headline read “Condemned to premature death by hunger and thirst more than three billion people.” Castro described this figure as “cautious,” and issued dire warnings about the West converting imported corn to ethanol while millions starve.

There is a grain of truth in Castro’s words. Plenty of politicians are looking to cash in on the recent surge in eco-awareness. Ethanol is the perfect vehicle for such opportunists, who couldn’t care less about the world’s poor. But for my money, Castro is less concerned about the world’s starving than about one man in particular: Hugo Chavez. Chavez’s Venezuela currently supplies 13 percent of the US’s oil imports and generously subsidizes Cuba to infuriate the United States. The last thing Chavez wants or Cuba needs is a greener U.S. energy policy dampening global oil demand. A few thousand words in Granma will go a long way to keeping Castro’s sugar daddy sweet. Sick or not, El Commandante is a shrewd operator.

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