16 Dec 2009

Castro sees new US plot

6:13 am on 16 December 2009

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro is accusing the United States of plotting to overthrow left-wing Latin American governments.

Mr Castro says Barack Obama's friendly smile and African-American face are hiding Washington's intentions.

The comments were read at a summit of regional leaders in Havana. They were echoed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and other regional leaders at the meeting.

Mr Castro said the US was again on the offensive in Latin America. He accused Washington of supporting right-wing governments in the region in an attempt to weaken Mr Chavez and other socialists.

The BBC reports Mr Castro initially welcomed President Obama's election. But in recent weeks, he has issued increasingly critical comments.