The Associated Press: "It perhaps was not the endorsement President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress were looking for.
"Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform 'a miracle' and a major victory for Obama's presidency, but couldn't help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago.
" 'We consider health reform to have been an important battle and a success of his (Obama's) government,' Castro wrote in an essay published in state media, adding that it would strengthen the president's hand against lobbyists and 'mercenaries.' "
Republicans are making hay with the assertion -- the National Republican Senatorial Committee sought to tie Kendrick Meek to Castro -- emailing the story out with the subject line: "Castro endorses Meek's health care vote."
Meek, it should be noted, was nowhere noted in Castro's essay.