Castro blasts EU in annual speech

July 27, 2003 at 6:44 PM
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SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba, July 27 (UPI) -- During an address marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro blasted the EU as nothing more than an agent of the United States.

Castro told about 10,000 people Saturday Cuba does not need the European Union to survive.

Until recently, the EU was seen as an economic lifeline for the financially ailing country, the BBC reported.

But relations dissolved last month when the EU started discussing sanctions over Cuba's imprisonment of dissidents.

In dismissing the EU, Castro called it "a group of old colonial powers historically responsible for slave trafficking, looting and even the extermination of entire peoples."

Castro's speech was the highlight of national celebrations Saturday, marking the 50th anniversary of the date that he launched his rebellion.

Castro suffered a crushing defeat in the battle, but he spent only two years in prison and eventually ousted right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista.

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