Charges of lavish wealth rubbish

Cuban President Fidel Castro speaks during the Cuban television program “Round Table” in Havana, May 15, where he called a Forbes magazine report naming him one of the world’s wealthiest rulers “rubbish.”

In its May 5 article, Forbes estimated Castro’s personal wealth to be $900 million, nearly double that of Queen Elizabeth II, and cited rumors that he has “large stashes in Swiss bank accounts.”

During the program, Castro said, “If they can prove I have an account abroad … containing even one dollar, I will resign my post.”

Central Bank President Francisco Soberon added, “It is absolutely impossible that someone in the upper levels of government — and especially not a leader (like Castro) … who is recognized by the Cuban people as an example of humility and self-discipline — could maintain personal accounts abroad.”

Soberon called the Forbes article “grotesque slander,” and blamed the CIA and a U.S. press controlled by “the empire” for the magazine’s “vulgar and ridiculous” claims.

— The Associated Press