Former Cuban President Fidel Castro has criticized U.S. President Barack Obama over a U.S. agreement with Colombia that allows American troops access to Colombian military bases.
In a column published in Cuba's state-run Granma newspaper, Mr. Castro says allowing the United States to use Colombia's military bases threatens not only neighboring Venezuela, but all people in the region.
The former Cuban leader says the agreement "violates legal, constitutional and ethical norms."
The U.S.-Colombia deal, signed Friday in Bogota, gives U.S. troops access to seven Colombian bases for anti-drug operations.
|Two unidentified members of US military (L) leave Colombia's Ministry of Affairs HQ in Bogota, 30 Oct 2009|
The U.S. State Department said the deal allows both countries to continue working closely together to respond to security challenges within Colombia.
Other Latin American leaders have also criticized the deal. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the agreement is a threat and could unleash the "winds of war" in the region.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the deal is about U.S.-Colombia cooperation and does not pertain to other countries.
Colombia is the strongest U.S. ally in Latin America and has received billions of dollars in mostly military aid during President Alvaro Uribe's tenure.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.