Looks like the Cuban Communist Methuselah finally caved in to his failing health:
By ANITA SNOW
Associated Press Writer
HAVANA — 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. U.S. President George W. 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.”
In the pre-dawn hours, most Cubans were unaware of Castro’s message. Havana’s streets were quiet, and there was no movement at several party-run neighborhood watch groups in Old Havana. It wasn’t until 5 a.m., several hours after Castro’s message was posted on the internet, that official radio began reading the missive to early risers.
……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 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.
Nah, if we were really serious about getting rid of you we’d have blown your little island to kingdom come.
……The resignation opens the path for Raul Castro’s succession to the presidency, and the full autonomy he has lacked in leading a caretaker government. The younger Castro has raised expectations among Cubans for modest economic and other reforms, stating last year that the country requires unspecified “structural changes” and acknowledging that government wages that average about US$19 (euro13) a month do not satisfy basic needs.
As first vice president of Cuba’s Council of State, Raul Castro was his brother’s constitutionally designated successor and appears to be a shoo-in for the presidential post when the council meets Sunday. More uncertain is who will be chosen as Raul’s new successor, although 56-year-old council Vice President Carlos Lage, who is Cuba’s de facto prime minister, is a strong possibility.
……The United States built a detailed plan in 2005 for American assistance to ensure a democratic transition on the island of 11.2 million people after Castro’s death. But Cuban officials have insisted that the island’s socialist political and economic systems will outlive Castro.
Which means more poverty, starvation, economic abyss, and dictatorship for as long as Raul Castro lives….
“The adversary to be defeated is extremely strong,” Castro wrote Tuesday. “However, we have been able to keep it at bay for half a century.”
Uh, no. You’ve managed to keep your people under your little red thumb for 50 years.
……His ironclad rule ensured Cuba remained communist long after the breakup of the Soviet Union and the collapse of communism across Eastern Europe.
I know the left-leaning AP is distressed at the news, but they really ought to get their facts straight before they regurgitate garbage like this:
Castro’s supporters admired his ability to provide a high level of health care and education for citizens while remaining fully independent of the United States.
High level of health care? Anita Snow, the author of this release, is a well known communist sychophant. This is right in line with her collection of fawning fluff pieces about Castro’s regime. Did she attend the Granma school of journalism?
Socialized medicine hasn’t worked out well in Cuba.
From Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D.:
“For one thing, most of the admirers of Cuba’s Revolution and its socialized system of medical care don’t speak or read Spanish and only know the system from afar – either looking down from above in the ivory towers of academia, where Marxism is still in vogue, or learned from the sound bites of liberal journalists and news anchormen, who still glorify Fidel Castro and his socialist Revolution.
Dr. Dessy Mendoza RiveroWe learn from Dr. Dr. Dessy Mendoza Rivero, that Cuba’s “free” socialized system of medical care is in shambles, a veritable disaster, a disgraceful tragic regression from the once advanced medical care system of the 1950s in the pre-Castro years.
The book begins with Dr. Mendoza’s dramatic arrest at his home in his native city of Santiago de Cuba, the country’s second-largest city, located on the easternmost portion of the island and home of the Sierra Maestra mountains.
Dr. Mendoza’s crime was that of investigating, revealing and forcing the communist dictatorship to admit the existence of a raging epidemic of dengue fever in the spring and summer of 1997. In fact, Dr. Mendoza was on the telephone with a Miami radio station communicating the details of the epidemic to the outside world when the Cuban State Security political police closed in:
“There are approximately 13 dead, 2,500 hospitalized patients and 30,000 people afflicted!” Mendoza frantically declared, warning the interlocutor on the other side of the telephone line that the communication would be cut at any moment, as State Security had surrounded the house and was knocking on the door.”
He further notes the deplorable lack of sanitation, available medicines (except for the elite), and equipment.
Link to article: http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/8/19/174145.shtml
Funny, she never bothered to report on those inconvienient facts.
I bet neither she, nor Michael Moore’s fat ass, has ever waited in line in Havana for medical treatment.
The education of Cuban school children is limited to indoctrination of communist ‘ideals’ and anti-Western propaganda.
As an foreign correspondent (and mouthpiece for Fidel) in Castro’s Cuba, she has the luxury of not being subjected to prison for being a dissident. She can also come and go as she pleases; by plane and not a nighttime boat flotilla. When Fidel finally croaks and if Raul brings positive change to Cuba, she’s going to be out of a job.
His detractors called him a dictator whose totalitarian government systematically denied individual freedoms and civil liberties such as speech, movement and assembly.
Oh yeah, and here’s a post by blogger “Mahalanobis” who spent a week and a half in Cuba.
Just some of the local sights of the “workers paradise”:
Bienvenido a Cuba, comrade!