- The Washington Times - Monday, March 28, 2016

The White House got into a war of words Monday with former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who criticized President Obama’s historic trip to Havana.

Writing in the official state newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, the 89-year Mr. Castro criticized Mr. Obama’s relative youth and raised the U.S. “Bay of Pigs” invasion of Cuba in 1961.

“Native populations do not exist at all in the minds of Obama,” Mr. Castro wrote. “Nor does he say that racial discrimination was swept away by the [Cuban] Revolution; that retirement and salary of all Cubans were enacted by this before Mr. Barack Obama was 10 years old.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest suggested that Mr. Obama’s trip had gotten under Mr. Castro’s skin.

“The fact that the former president felt compelled to respond so forcefully to the president’s visit is an indication of the significant impact of President Obama’s visit to Cuba,” Mr. Earnest said.

Noting that U.S. journalists questioned Cuban President Raul Castro about political prisoners, Mr. Earnest said, “That’s the kind of thing that’s never happened before. And there’s no denying that creates some additional pressure on the Cuban government.”

Raul Castro is Fidel’s younger brother. Mr. Obama held a private meeting with the Cuban leader but did not meet with Fidel Castro during his three-day visit to the island.

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