Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced capitalism during a speech at the University of Havana on Wednesday ahead of a meeting with Fidel Castro.
Amid the backdrop of increased tensions with the West over Tehran's nuclear program — heightened by a Tehran car bombing that killed an Iranian nuclear scientist, which the Islamic Republic has accused Israel, the US and Britain of orchestrating — a defiant Ahmadinejad flashed the victory sign after landing in Havana, The Daily Telegraph reported.
(GlobalPost reports: Iran's President Ahmadinejad visits Cuba; Bomb kills another Iranian nuclear scientist)
Ahmadinejad planned to spend less than 24 hours on the island before flying to Ecuador, the final stop of his five-day Latin American tour, according to CNN.
Ahmadinejad reportedly has not mentioned the bombing that killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a 32-year-old nuclear scientist, in the third assassination of its kind in the past two years.
Washington has denied a role in the killing, which involved two men on a motorbike attaching a magnetic bomb to the target's vehicle, similar to the method used in the other two killings.
Nor has Ahmadinejad directly addressed the rising tensions over Tehran's nuclear program, which the West says is aimed at developing weapons, the Telegraph reported.
However, he did attack American capitalism, saying: "Today the only thing capitalism does is kill. It is a failed system in decay."
He called on developing countries to unite against "imperialism and capitalism."
"Why are the Iranian, Cuban and Latin American people punished by the United States?" he asked the audience attending his speech at the University of Havana. "Have we attacked them in some way? Have we asked for more than we are owed? Never, not once. We have only ever wanted justice."
The Associated Press cited the Iranian leader as describing the relationship of Iran and Cuba as "solidarity between two revolutionary peoples," despite the differences between them.
Iran's ushered in a religious Islamic government, while Communist Cuba under Fidel Castro was officially atheist for decades.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph wrote that:
Cuba and Iran share similar positions in international organizations, with Tehran condemning the half-century US trade embargo against Cuba and Havana recognizing Iran's right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Also, CNN points out: Cuba has been under U.S. economic sanctions for 50 years, while Iran is facing an expanding gauntlet of sanctions over its nuclear program.