President Obama went back to Iowa on Thursday, where he gave his first speech on health care reform in 2007, and where he won the Iowa Caucuses in 2008, but far away in Cuba, another world leader offered his congratulations.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro called the passage of health care reform a "miracle" but couldn't resist taking some shots at Obama, saying health care in Cuba was enacted years ago. In an article published in the state run media, Castro said the passage of health care would strengthen Obama's hand against "lobbyists and mercenaries" but then quickly moved to praising his own country.
"It is really incredible that 234 years after the Declaration of Independence ... the government of that country has approved medical attention for the majority of its citizens, something that Cuba was able to do half a century ago," Castro wrote.
Since taking office, President Obama has already lifted travel restrictions for Cuban Americans in the United States wishing to visit their home country as well as sending family members unlimited funds. But as recently as Wednesday, the administration put out a statement condemning repression and human rights in Cuba.
Cuba provides free health to all its citizens, although with recent economic troubles in that nation the government has warned the free health care as well as subsidized housing and food may not be be able to continue.
In Thursday's article Castro hopes that the recent actions against Cuba don't change what he already thinks about the U.S. President.
"I hope that the stupid things he sometimes says about Cuba don't cloud over that intelligence," he said.