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U.S.-Cuba Relations

Fidel Castro Says U.S. Still Owes Cuba Many Millions of Dollars in Damages

Historic day: US embassy in Cuba to open Friday 3:11

Fidel Castro doesn't exactly sound ready to embrace the new spirit of openness with the United States.

To mark his 89th birthday, the former revolutionary and Cuban president lashed out at his longtime adversary in an essay that invoked the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In the essay, published Thursday in the Communist Party newspaper Granma, Castro wrote that the United States owes Cuba "many millions of dollars" in damages because of the half-century trade embargo.

He also complained about President Richard Nixon's removal of the U.S. dollar from the gold standard in 1971.

"We will never stop struggling for peace and the well-being of all human beings, for every inhabitant on the planet regardless of skin color or national origin, and for the full right of all to hold a religious belief or not," Castro wrote.

He made no mention of the historic events planned for Friday in Havana: Secretary of State John Kerry will raise the American flag at the U.S. Embassy for the first time in 54 years, cementing the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.