New era for Cuba as Castro steps down; Brother in line for presidency.Byline: BY LIAM CHRISTOPHER Daily Post Correspondent
THE ailing 81-year-old Fidel Castro Noun 1. Fidel Castro - Cuban socialist leader who overthrew a dictator in 1959 and established a Marxist socialist state in Cuba (born in 1927)
Castro, Fidel Castro Ruz resigned as Cuba's president yesterday after foiling attempts to topple him for nearly half a century, leaving on his own terms by clearing the way for his brother, Raul, to take power.
The end of Castro's rule, the longest in the world for a head of government, frees 76-year-old Raul to implement reforms he has hinted at since taking over as acting president when Castro fell ill in July, 2006.
"My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath," Castro wrote in a letter in the Communist Party Communist party, in China
Communist party, in China, ruling party of the world's most populous nation since 1949 and most important Communist party in the world since the disintegration of the USSR in 1991. daily Granma.
But, he wrote, "it would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer."
It wasn't until 5am, several hours after Castro's message was posted on the internet, that official radio began spreading the news Spreading the News is a short one-act comic play by Lady Gregory, which she wrote for the opening night of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, 27 Dec. 1904. It was on a double bill with William Butler Yeats's On Baile's Strand. across the island.
Cubans seemed to go about their business as usual, having seen Castro's resignation as inevitable, but with a certain sadness.
Cuban dissidents welcomed the news as a possible first step toward possible change.
Moderate opposition leader Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, a former commander who fought alongside Castro in the revolution, expressed hopes that whoever follows him "will have freedom to launch economic and political changes as well."
Castro temporarily ceded his powers to his brother after undergoing intestinal surgery. Since then, the elder Castro has not been seen in public, appearing only sporadically in official photographs and videotapes and publishing dense essays about mostly international themes as his younger brother has consolidated his rule.
There had been widespread speculation about whether Castro would continue as president when the new National Assembly meets on Sunday to pick the country's top leadership. Castro has been Cuba's unchallenged leader since 1959 - monarchs excepted, he was the world's longest ruling head of state.
Castro said Cuban officials had wanted him to remain in power after his surgery.
"It was an uncomfortable situation for me vis-a-vis an adversary adversary
traditional appellation of Satan [O.T.: Job 1:6; N.T.: I Peter 5:8]
See : Devil that had done everything possible to get rid of me, and I felt reluctant to comply," he said in a reference to the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .
Castro remains a member of parliament and is likely to be elected to the 31-member Council of State on Sunday, though he will no longer be its president.
Castro also retains his powerful post as first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party. The party leadership posts generally are renewed at party congresses, the last of which was held in 1997.
As first vice president of Cuba's Council of State, Raul Castro was his brother's constitutionally designated successor and appears to be a formality for the presidential post when the council meets on Sunday.
The United States built a detailed plan in 2005 for American assistance to ensure a democratic transition on the island of 11.2m people after Castro's death. But Cuban officials have insisted that the island's socialist political and economic systems will outlive out·live
tr.v. out·lived, out·liv·ing, out·lives
1. To live longer than: She outlived her son.
President Bush said yesterday: "The international community should work with the Cuban people to begin to build institutions that are necessary for democracy."
Ailing Fidel Castro - standing down from power in Cuba; Castro's brother, Raul - expected to take power