Barack Obama gets Fidel Castro's support
Fidel Castro has however, officially backed Obama's candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The former Cuban president gave a qualified endorsement to Mr Obama whom he described as "the most-advanced candidate" in the race for the White House.
The unwelcome support of the ailing revolutionary icon is likely to give Senator John McCain further opportunity to question Mr Obama's foreign policy credentials.
The Republican nominee has consistently tried to exploit the support offered for Mr Obama by Hamas, which is listed by the US state department as a terrorist organisation.
But writing in his regular column in the state-run Granma newspaper, Mr Castro noted that Mr Obama had not dared to call for a reversal of the decades-old US embargo on Cuba.
"Obama's speech can be translated as a formula for hunger for the country," the 81-year-old former president wrote, referring to remarks Mr Obama made to the Cuban American National Foundation in Miami last week.
The Illinois senator said he would maintain nearly all trade sanctions against Cuba as leverage to push for democratic change, but also vowed to ease restrictions on US-based exiles travelling to Cuba and sending money to relatives.
However he repeated that he was willing to meet Raul Castro, who in February succeeded his elder brother to become the nation's first new leader in 49 years.