With Cuba's already shaky economy threatened by attacks on tourist hotels and a disappointing sugar harvest, Fidel Castro's government is lashing out at the United States to rally Cubans against their longtime foe.
In the latest anti-American assault, Gen. Raul Castro, chief of Cuba's armed forces, accused the United States of conducting a sabotage campaign against his Communist nation.
As older brother Fidel looked on, the No. 2 man in Cuba's government delivered the annual Revolution Day address Saturday in unusually harsh language to more than 100,000 Communist stalwarts.
Sunday in Washington, State Department spokeswoman Stephanie Eicher dismissed the Cubans' accusations, saying, "It's a common ploy for them" to level accusations against the United States to divert attention from their problems.