File this one in the “a half century late, a few billion dollars, thousands executed and imprisoned and millions of Cubans tormented short” category: Fidel Castro has resigned as dictator of Cuba:
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 ruleâ€”the longest in the world for a head of governmentâ€”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.”
For those who think this means change and freedom in Cuba, it doesn’t. Not until the entire Castro cabal is out. Sure, there will be some so-called “reforms” under Raul, but they will be nothing but meaningless window dressing, as they have been since Fidel “temporarily” handed power to his brother.
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