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Overcoming the "contradictions of the system" in the United States
Overcoming the "contradictions of the system" in the United States will be the most serious challenge for the new U.S. President Barack Obama, the former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said.

Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the U.S. on Tuesday in Washington, becoming the country's first African-American head of state.

"Despite all challenges endured, Obama is still to face the main challenge," Fidel said in his article. "What will he do when the immense power he has taken in his hands proves useless in overcoming the unsolvable, antagonistic contradictions of the system," the 82-year-old Castro said in an online article entitled The 11th President of the U.S. (since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution).

He said no one could doubt the sincerity of Obama's words promising to turn the country into a paragon of liberty, respect for human rights worldwide and independence of other nations.

"The intelligent and noble face of the first black U.S. president... has become a living symbol of the American dream," Castro said.

He said Obama's pledge to close the Guantanamo prison would give rise to doubts among those who use terror as an instrument of their country's foreign policy.

Obama signed an order on Thursday closing down the controversial prison camp at the Guantanamo naval base, where those suspected of terrorism have been held, as well as foreign detention centers. He also ordered a review of military trials for those accused of terrorist activities and the use of interrogation methods.

The measures are in line with Obama's election campaign promise.

Cuba's foreign minister, on a visit to Nicaragua, commented on Friday that Obama's move was positive but insufficient.

"It is necessary to close down the naval base that the U.S. maintains there...and to return the territory to Cuba," Felipe Perez Roque said.

He expressed hope that Obama's decision would be the first step towards Cuba's repossession of its territory.

The U.S. has kept its naval base in Guantanamo since the Spanish-American War in 1898. Cuba has opposed the lease since the 1959 Revolution.

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