Did Fidel Castro Endorse Barack Obama?

The McCain campaign's new online advertisement pairs images of Barack Obama and the ailing Cuban leader followed by the statement “Fidel Castro thinks he (referring to Obama) is ‘the most advanced candidate’”

This picture association strategy is one of the oldest and most reliable tricks in the book. It isn’t even the first time the McCain camp has paired up Obama’s image with a foreign dictator. Senator McCain’s campaign launched a web ad earlier this year that placed Barack side-by-side with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (of Iran), followed by the caption “Is it ok to unconditionally meet with anti-American foreign leaders?”

The current ad is misleading in the way it twists Castro’s sentiments, given that the Cuban leader most definitely does not support Obama. Castro has actually been quoted as saying that Obama would rather his "island nation starve" since the Illinois senator has refused to address serious changes with regards to U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba during his presidential campaign. Obama has also been very critical of the Cuban leader, recently calling him a “repeated abuser of human rights and a tyrant who has passed his time in the sun.” Hmm, sounds like a ringing endorsement to us!

What do you think? Do these advertisements make you leery of Obama’s run for the presidency, or is it just another example of the smear tactics commonly employed by political campaigns?