Anger at Castro kill mission in Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops is set to be one of the year's best-selling videogames.
Call of Duty: Black Ops is set to be one of the year's best-selling videogames.

HAVANA - Cuba's state-run media and bloggers are not amused at Call of Duty: Black Ops, a new videogame in which the player can join a secret operation in the 1960s to assassinate former leader Fidel Castro.

"What the United States government did not manage to do in 50 years, now it attempts to accomplish by virtual means," said comments on the website Cubadebate, where Castro regularly publishes opinion pieces.

The site was referring to the numerous plots to kill the Cuban president, which the government said numbers 638.

The latest instalment of the hit Call of Duty franchise went on sale on Tuesday, ditching World War II and modern-day environments for a Cold War theme.

The game's first mission is to assassinate Fidel Castro before the 1962 missile crisis, the moment when the Cold War came closest to tipping into a full-blown nuclear conflict.

The mission does, however, fail.

Later missions take gamers inside the former Soviet Union and southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

Castro, now 84, led Cuba from the 1959 revolution until he stepped down for health reasons in 2006. His brother Raul Castro is currently the president of the communist nation.

On one hand, the game "glorifies the attempts that in an illegal manner the United States government planned against Castro," while on the other it "stimulates sociopathic behaviour among American children and adolescents, the main consumers" of those games, Cubadebate said.

US attempts to assassinate Castro were approved during the presidencies of Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. Cuban exiles were responsible for most attempts on Castro's life starting in the 1970s.

"What does not fit in the mind of sane people is how the American society allows the proliferation of these games," read a posting by a writer belonging to the pro-government Bloggers and Correspondents of the Revolution.

Call of Duty: Black Ops from the Activision unit of France's Vivendi follows Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, last year's biggest grossing console game with more than 20 million units sold around the world.

Expectations for the Cold War chapter are high: IT marketing firm IDC forecasts that 11.7 million copies will be shifted in the United States by the end of the year alone.


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