The Associated Press
HAVANA -- Fidel Castro praised Barack Obama Tuesday as smarter and less warlike than John McCain, but stopped short of endorsing either U.S. presidential candidate.
Cuba's former president said he delayed weighing in until the U.S. election day so that "no one would have time to say I wrote something that could be utilized by the candidates in their campaigns."
"Without a doubt, Obama is more intelligent, cultured and levelheaded than his Republican adversary," Castro wrote in state-controlled newspapers. "McCain is old, bellicose, uncultured, of little intelligence and not healthy."
Castro, 82, has struggled with his own health problems. He has not been seen in public since July 2006. His younger brother Raul formally succeeded him as president in February.
The elder Castro also expressed skepticism about both candidates.
"Worries about the overwhelming problems of the world will not really occupy an important place in the mind of Obama and much less in that of a candidate who, as a fighter pilot, dropped dozens of tons of bombs on the city of Hanoi," he wrote, alluding to McCain's military service.
Castro also wrote that if the Republicans win due to U.S. racism, "the danger of war will increase and the opportunities for peoples to move forward will be reduced."