HAVANA: Israel and the United States are responsible for creating the Islamic State phenomenon, former Cuban president Fidel Castro is quoted as saying on Wednesday.
Writing for official Cuban state media, Castro alleged that Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad, and US Senator John McCain conspired to create the Islamic State.
The remarks were reported and translated into English by the Russia Today news agency.
Castro's column takes aim at the West, particularly NATO for its attitude toward Russia as the Ukraine crisis unfolds.
“Many people are astonished when they hear the statements made by some European spokesmen for NATO when they speak with the style and face of the Nazi SS,” Castro wrote.
“Adolf Hitler’s greed-based empire went down in history with no more glory than the encouragement provided to NATO’s aggressive and bourgeois governments, which makes them the laughing stock of Europe and the world.”
The 88-year-old former ruler also attacked McCain, Israel's "most unconditional ally."
Castro alleged that McCain, “together with [Mossad, conspired] in the creation of the Islamic State, which today controls a considerable and vital portion of Iraq and reportedly one-third of Syria as well.”
Cuba is struggling to move on from his half-century rule and as many of his policies are reconsidered under the leadership of his younger brother Raul.
Castro goes about his daily activities out of the public eye, and how much influence the retired commandante still wields is unknown. He emerges every once in a while to reassure his followers that he is very much around, frustrating those who wish he was not.
"No one believes anymore that Fidel has any real influence over day-to-day policy," a western diplomat said, "but that doesn't mean he is never consulted on big questions or that when he comes out it isn't important."