Castro: US president should be a robot

Ninety per cent of voters would back the robot, says former Cuban leader.

In his weekly "Reflections of Fidel" column, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said a robot would be the best candidate for the upcoming US election.

In the column, titled "The best president for the United States", Castro writes:

Is it not obvious that worst of all is the absence in the White House of a robot capable of governing the United States and preventing a war to end the life of our species?

He also criticised Obama, describing him as "a good orator, for who in his desperate attempt for reelection, the dreams of [Martin] Luther King are further away in light years than the closest habitable planet [to earth]."

"Even worse," he continued, "are any of the presidential Republican candidates , or a leader of the Tea Party, [who] carries more nuclear weapons on his back than ideas of peace in his head."

Castro concluded by saying he is "sure that 90 per cent of registered Americans, especially hispanics, blacks, and the now impoverished middle class, would vote for the robot".

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Donald Trump's inauguration signals the start of a new and more unstable era

A century in which the world's hegemonic power was a rational actor is about to give way to a more terrifying reality. 

For close to a century, the United States of America has been the world’s paramount superpower, one motivated by, for good and for bad, a rational and predictable series of motivations around its interests and a commitment to a rules-based global order, albeit one caveated by an awareness of the limits of enforcing that against other world powers.

We are now entering a period in which the world’s paramount superpower is neither led by a rational or predictable actor, has no commitment to a rules-based order, and to an extent it has any guiding principle, they are those set forward in Donald Trump’s inaugural: “we will follow two simple rules: hire American and buy American”, “from this day forth, it’s going to be America first, only America first”.

That means that the jousting between Trump and China will only intensify now that he is in office.  The possibility not only of a trade war, but of a hot war, between the two should not be ruled out.

We also have another signal – if it were needed – that he intends to turn a blind eye to the actions of autocrats around the world.

What does that mean for Brexit? It confirms that those who greeted the news that an US-UK trade deal is a “priority” for the incoming administration, including Theresa May, who described Britain as “front of the queue” for a deal with Trump’s America, should prepare themselves for disappointment.

For Europe in general, it confirms what should already been apparent: the nations of Europe are going to have be much, much more self-reliant in terms of their own security. That increases Britain’s leverage as far as the Brexit talks are concerned, in that Britain’s outsized defence spending will allow it acquire goodwill and trade favours in exchange for its role protecting the European Union’s Eastern border.

That might allow May a better deal out of Brexit than she might have got under Hillary Clinton. But there’s a reason why Trump has increased Britain’s heft as far as security and defence are concerned: it’s because his presidency ushers in an era in which we are all much, much less secure. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.