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Published on 28 March 2016 by teleSUR.

fidel speaks

Cuba's Fidel Castro has responded to U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to his country last week in an opinion piece for the website Cuba Debate.

In the article, published Monday, the iconic revolutionary figure explained that "Cuba doesn't need the empire to give us anything," adding that "nobody should be under the illusion that the people of this noble and selfless country will surrender their rights and spiritual wealth that they have won with the development of education, science and culture,” under the Cuban Revolution.

He added that Cuba can "produce the food and material wealth we need through effort and intelligence of our people."

Fidel Castro expressed amazement at Obama's call during his visit to Cuba to simply "Forget the past … look to the future," and referred to the "merciless blockade that has lasted almost 60 years" and to U.S attacks to overthrow the revolution via "mercenary attacks on ships and Cuban ports, an airliner full of passengers detonated in mid-air, mercenary invasions, multiple acts of violence."

The former Cuban president positively referred to Obama's "humble origin" and his "natural intelligence," but said that he shouldn't put forward "theories about politics in Cuba."

The article also addresses how the Cuban Revolution tackled historic racism both within the country and aided liberation movements in Africa, including the significant role that Cuba played in the defeat of South African apartheid. Fidel Castro notes that Obama didn't mention how "racial discrimination was swept away by the Revolution."

The former president, 89, did not meet with U.S. President Barack Obama during last week’s visit. The meeting between Cuba and the U.S was seen as a step towards the normalization of bilateral relations. However, numerous issues remain before full normalization can be reached including the ending of the U.S. blockade on Cuba and the return of Guantanamo Bay.