Castro attacks Harper over oilsands

Claims US is forcing Canada to extract oil, causing irreparable damage to the environment.

April 10, 2012   by CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA: There’s a new critic weighing in on the “environmental damage” caused by Alberta’s oilsands. Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro has written an essay criticizing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government.

The father of Cuba’s communist revolution of more than half a century ago offered the observation in a characteristically rambling new essay on the state of hemispheric affairs.

The ailing octogenarian, father of Cuba’s communist revolution of more than half a century ago, periodically offers up his musings on the world in postings on his government’s website. “Stephen Harper’s Illusions” is his latest instalment.

In it, Castro claims that the US – a country he loathes because of its economically crippling embargo – is forcing Canada to extract oil, which is causing irreparable damage to the environment.

“I knew about the damage caused by the Yankees to the people of Canada,” the essay said. “They forced the country to look for oil by extracting it from huge extensions of sand that are impregnated with that fluid, thus causing an irreparable damage to the environment of that beautiful and extensive country.”

He also accuses Canadian mining companies of harming millions of people throughout Latin America.

Of Canada’s mining companies, he references a previous article that he says, “provides further details about an issue that has been identified innumerable times as one of the main scourges that affect millions of persons, stated that mining companies, 60% of which are financed with Canadian capital, worked following the logic of maximum yield at a low cost and in a short time; and that these conditions turn out to be all the more advantageous if in the places where they are stationed, tax revenues are minimal and there are very few environmental and social commitments…”

Castro covers several topics, from Argentina’s claim on the Falkland Islands to Cuba’s continued exclusion from the Organization of American States.

Without naming John Baird, he wonders how Canada’s top diplomat views the disagreement over the Falklands, which Argentina calls the Malvinas.

“The honourable foreign minister of Canada does not dare to say whether or not he supports Argentina in the thorny issue of the Malvinas Islands. He has only expressed beatific wishes for peace to prevail between the two countries.”

No comment from Harper’s office.

© 2012 The Canadian Press

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