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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Castro Resigns

Cubans are vivacious and inventive lot. It has one of the highest literacy rates in the region. It has some of the best unspoiled beaches in the world.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union the island nation has fallen on hard times. The U.S. embargo does not help either.

Defiance and thumping noses at the imperialist policies of the U.S. does not help. Castro has been fading slowly from the scene. His announcement that he is resigning is one more step.

Pakistan should remember with gratefulness the Cuban help and generosity in sending doctors and medical staff in relief of the great earthquake.

Fidel Castro resigns as Cuba's president

HAVANA (AP) -- Fidel Castro, ailing and 81, announced Tuesday he was resigning as Cuba's president, ending a half-century of autocratic rule which made him a communist icon and a relentless opponent of U.S. policy around the globe.

The end of Castro's rule - the longest in the world for a head of government - frees his 76-year-old brother Raul Castro to implement reforms he has hinted at since taking over as acting president when Fidel fell ill in July 2006.

Here is Castro's letter

On Feb. 19, Comandante Fidel Castro, who ruled the Communist Republic of Cuba for nearly 50 years, announced in a letter to Cuban citizens ("Queridos Compatriotas") his decision to resign. The rambling missive (see English translation below and original Spanish text on Page 2) was published in the official state newspaper, Granma. "I will neither aspire to nor accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief," wrote the 81-year-old dictator, referring to parliamentary elections later this month.


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