Cuba flails Mexico foreign chief
HAVANA - (AP) -- Cuba accused Mexico's foreign minister, Jorge Castañeda,
on Tuesday of
orchestrating Fidel Castro's sudden departure from the U.N. poverty summit in northern Mexico last
week, insisting it had proof to back up its claims.
The attack on Castañeda in the Communist Party daily Granma was
the most serious incident in recent
sparring between the two nations' foreign ministries.
Although it called Castañeda the ''diabolical and cynical architect''
of Castro's decision to leave the
forum, Granma insisted that Cuba wants good relations with Mexico ``and not harm in the least the
authority and prestige of President Fox.''
''We ask for nothing more than an end to the provocations, insults, lies
and macabre plans of Mr.
Castañeda against Cuba,'' the newspaper said in an editorial. ``Otherwise, there remains no other
alternative than to divulge that which we have not wanted to divulge, making dust of his false and
''Cuba has irrefutable proof of all that occurred,'' it added.
After Castro suddenly left the forum in Monterrey on Thursday, Cuban officials
claimed that Mexico
bowed to pressure from the United States to ensure that Castro did not attend the meetings of heads
of state being held in conjunction with the U.N. gathering.
Both countries denied those charges.
Cuba didn't single out Castañeda for attack until Tuesday.
In Mexico City, meanwhile, some Mexican lawmakers are demanding an explanation
and others want him fired over the incident with Castro.
Politicians from the far left of Mexico's political spectrum accused Castañeda
on Monday of turning his
back on Mexico's foreign policy in order to placate President Bush, who made it clear he did not want to
cross paths with Castro at the U.N. meeting.
''Precisely because of one person, the relations that Mexico and Cuba have
enjoyed for many years are
in danger,'' said Congressman Sergio Acosta Salazar, of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party.
Several opposition politicians, including members of the former ruling
Institutional Revolutionary Party,
said they would ask Castañeda to appear before Congress as soon as next week to explain his