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Castro says will outlast any Bush ouster bid

Cardenas (Cuba), Dec. 6 (Reuters): Cuban President Fidel Castro said yesterday he will outlast any Bush Administration plans to oust him and Cuba’s one-party communist state will survive his death.

“The group of idiots that met in the White House will die of bitterness and frustration,” the 77-year-old Cuban leader said in an address to school children celebrating the 10th birthday of Elian Gonzalez, the shipwrecked boy at the centre of an international custody battle in 2000.

Top Bush aides met yesterday at the White House and decided tighter inspections of US citizens travelling to Cuba and a crackdown on illegal business with the Caribbean island to enforce four-decade-old sanctions aimed at undermining Castro.

The Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, created in October by President George W. Bush to foster a democratic transition on the island and headed by US secretary of state Colin Powell and Cuban-born housing secretary Mel Martinez, met for the first time yesterday at the White House with Bush’s national security advisor Condoleezza Rice.

“This little meeting does not worry us ... they would be better off dedicating their time to drinking whiskey and smoking marijuana,” Castro said.

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