Fidel Castro speculated Wednesday that a nuclear strike on Iran might help President Barack Obama win a second term in the White House and also suggested the United States could attack North Korea.
The former leader of Cuba, who has not been seen in public for nearly four years, also portrayed the U.S. president as a victim of fantasies planted in his mind by sinister advisers.
The column published by Cuban state media floated the idea that a nuclear attack on Iran — perhaps even without U.S. authorization — might help Obama win re-election in 2012.
"Could Obama enjoy the emotions of a second presidential election without having the Pentagon or the State of Israel, whose conduct does not in the least obey the decisions of the United States, use nuclear weapons against Iran?" he asked. "How would life on our planet be after that?"
It's a question he did not answer, nor did he elaborate.
Castro also referred to "the current danger North Korea could be attacked by the United States" because of "the recent incident that happened in that country's waters" — apparently a reference to allegations that North Korea attacked and sank a South Korean warship, killing 46 sailors.
Castro, 83, said China might be able to block such an attack by using its veto in the U.N. Security Council, implying that Washington was likely to seek that body's authorization before a move against North Korea.
The government of North Korea has denied involvement in the torpedo attack near the countries' sea border in March. During a visit to Seoul last month, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the North should face international consequences for the sinking.
Castro often has praised Obama in recent years, but painted him as a pawn of the global capitalist machine on Wednesday.
"President Obama can give hundreds of speeches, trying to reconcile contradictions that are irreconcilable ... dreaming of the magic of his well-articulated phrases," he wrote.
But Castro said Obama "makes concessions to personalities and groups totally lacking in ethics and draws fantasy worlds that only fit in his head and that unscrupulous advisers, knowing his tendencies, plant in his mind."
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.