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Castro Denies Cubans Tortured Prisoners

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Castro Denies Cubans Tortured Prisoners

Post by shammy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:34 am

12th February, 2008

Ailing leader Fidel Castro on Monday denied U.S. presidential hopeful John McCain's claim that Cuban agents helped torture American prisoners of war in Vietnam in the 1960s, calling the assertion "a strange legend."

"Let me remind you, Mr. McCain: the commandments of the religion you practice prohibit lying," Castro wrote in an essay published by the Communist Party newspaper Granma. "The years in prison and the wounds received because of the attacks on Hanoi do not excuse you from the moral obligation of the truth," the essay added.

McCain, Republican front-runner for the November presidential contest, was a military pilot taken prisoner in 1967 and held for five years in communist North Vietnam.

McCain has said that while he was held in Hanoi, a Cuban agent came to show his Vietnamese captors "some new interrogation techniques." While he has said that Cubans helped torture other American prisoners, they were not among those who tortured him.

Many Cuban-American veterans of the disastrous CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 consider McCain a hero for his time as a prisoner of war. During campaign appearances before Cuban exiles, McCain referred to his years in captivity and asserted that Cuban agents helped Vietnamese torture American military prisoners.

Castro wrote that when he first heard of McCain's claim several years ago, "I wanted to know where such a strange legend came from" and found the source in the U.S. senator's book "Faith of My Fathers," published in 1999.

"His accusation against internationalist Cuban revolutionaries, using the nickname Fidel to identify one who was capable of 'torturing a prisoner until they died' lacks even a minimum of ethics," Castro wrote.

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20080211/castro-denies-cubans-tortured-prisoners.htm
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