"You are well known in Russia as one of the most prominent and bright political leaders of contemporaneity," the president's congratulatory letter says.The Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko has given a public interview about his relation to the Cuban dictator which appears to revert to the kind of statements the poet used to make during the Cold War era:
Yevtushenko believes that Castro's magnetic personality and charisma contributed to Khrushchev's decision to deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba.
"Khrushchev had no aggressive intentions toward the United States," Yevtushenko said. "He never seriously intended to use the missiles. He was already an elderly man, one of the last who had participated in the October Revolution. He understood perfectly well all the things in the Soviet Union that didn't work because of the terror under Stalin, and he fell in love with Castro and the other young Cuban leaders who managed to pull off the revolution without our help. He simply wanted to protect them."