Foreign Policy

Castro Resigns as President for Life of Cuba; Wants to Spend More Time with Families

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From the AP:

An ailing, 81-year-old Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba's president Tuesday after nearly a half-century in power, saying he will not accept a new term when parliament meets Sunday.

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

"My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath," Castro wrote in a letter published Tuesday in the online edition of the Communist Party 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."

More here.

Earlier this year, Castro had said that there would be no change in the Cuba-U.S. relationship until that man in the White House had vamoosed. And George W. Bush, along with most Dems and Reps, haven't shown much interest in changing the ongoing, and idiotic, U.S. embargo of Cuba. (Two pols who dare speak logic on this issue are Reps. Jeff Flake and Charles Rangel).

U.S. policy toward Cuba has been generally misguided for well over a century. Here's hoping the Congress and the president will do something right to accelerate a shift to freedom there. And here's hoping that Cuba becomes a better place as Castro puts one foot into the grave. I don't believe in hell, but I sort of hope there is a place like it for a guy like Castro.

reason on Castro/Cuba here.