Ahmadinejad Slams Capitalism in Cuba

Posted January 11th, 2012 at 8:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized capitalism as a “system in decay” in a speech in Cuba, his latest stop on a Latin American tour.

Mr. Ahmadinejad said Wednesday capitalism is a “dead-end street” and said when capitalists “lack logic” they resort to using weapons to kill and destroy. He made the remarks during a speech at the University of Havana, where he was also awarded an honorary degree.

The Iranian leader did not discuss his country's controverisal nuclear program or the bombing Wednesday that killed an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran. Iranian officials have blamed the attack on Israel and the United States.

The visit comes as international pressure is mounting on Tehran over its nuclear program, for which it is facing growing sanctions.

President Ahmadinejad's visit to Cuba is part of a four-nation Latin America tour that has already taken him to Venezuela and Nicaragua, where he attended the inauguration of President Daniel Ortega.

Later Wednesday, he was expected to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro as well as with Fidel Castro before heading to Ecuador.

In recent years, the Iranian president has courted leftist, populist and anti-American Latin American leaders, particularly the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

U.S. officials have urged Latin American countries not to deepen their ties with Iran. The United States has called the tour a sign of desperation for Iran, which has been heavily sanctioned over its nuclear program. And a State Department spokeswoman accused the Iranian government of being “desperate for friends” and of what she called “flailing around” to find new allies.