Fidel Castro resigns as President of Cuba
Fidel Castro, the Communist dictator of Cuba, has stepped down as President.
Castro has been in power for nearly 50 years after seizing power in an armed revolution, and has survived assassination attempts, a US-backed invasion and a missile crisis.
However, the 81-year-old declared today that he would not accept a new term when the new parliament meets this Sunday. The dictator has not made any public appearances since he underwent emergency intestinal surgery 18 months ago.
In a statement Castro commented: ‘I neither will aspire to nor will I accept – I repeat – I neither will aspire to nor will I accept, the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief.’
Speculation has grown over whether the President would retire after he published a letter in December which stated it was his duty ‘not to cling to power’. Prior to this, Castro handed over day-to-day running of the country to his brother Raúl, aged 76, who is now set for permanent succession.