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The Collective
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

It has been pretty clear for some time now that Fidel Castro had basically retired from office, now (via the BBC) we find that he has made it official: Fidel Castro announces retirement

Cuba’s ailing leader Fidel Castro has said he will not accept another term as president, ending 49 years in power.

“I neither will aspire to, nor will I accept, the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief,” he told the newspaper, Granma.

[…]

In the letter, published on Granma’s website during the middle of the night in Cuba, Mr Castro said he would not accept another five-year term as president when the National Assembly meets on Sunday, because of the health problems.

“It would betray my conscience to take up a responsibility that requires mobility and total devotion, that I am not in a physical condition to offer,” he wrote.

As I have noted before, Fidel’s lengthy illness has been one of the best possible situations for the current Cuban regime, as it has allowed for a slow, smooth transition to post-Fidel Cuba sans the drama and upheaval of his sudden death.

In regards to successor:

The National Assembly is widely expected to elect 76-year-old Raul Castro as his successor, although analysts say there is speculation about a possible generational jump with Vice-President Carlos Lage Davila, 56, a leading contender.

Update: Steve Clemons asks

OK — Which of the presidential candidates is prepared to finally break US-Cuba relations out of the anachronistic Cold War cocoon they have been frozen in and initiate a new course that benefits American interests?

Answer: none, I suspect-not as long as it is the case that a handful of Cuban-American voters might hand the balance over the state of Florida.

That our Cuba policy makes no sense, and that it ultimately have been a failure, will not enter into the conversation, unfortunately.

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4 Comments

  1. Answer: none, I suspect–not as long as it is the case that a handful of Cuban-American voters might hand the balance over the state of Florida.

    Obama has voted twice to stop funding of TV Marti. He has also called for Cuban-American travel restrictions & remittances to be lifted.

    In an op-ed in the Miami Herald, he said:

    “I will use aggressive and principled diplomacy to send an important message: If a post-Fidel government begins opening Cuba to democratic change, the United States (the president working with Congress) is prepared to take steps to normalize relations and ease the embargo that has governed relations between our countries for the last five decades. That message coming from my administration in bilateral talks would be the best means of promoting Cuban freedom. To refuse to do so would substitute posturing for serious policy — and we have seen too much of that in other areas over the past six years.”

    This seems to be significantly different from McCain or Clinton, as far as I have heard-explicit mention of bilateral talks and lifting the embargo.

    Comment by Ratoe — Tuesday, February 19, 2008 @ 8:11 am

  2. […] Others Blogging: Michelle Malkin, Anewtone, Ace of Spades, Poliblog  addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fmornincoffee.com%2F%3Fp%3D58′; addthis_title = ‘Castro+Stepping+down’; addthis_pub = ”; Sphere: Related Content […]

    Pingback by Morning Coffee » Blog Archive » Castro Stepping down — Tuesday, February 19, 2008 @ 8:41 am

  3. Look Fidel was bored of the Communist dictator stuff; he has been working tirelessly on a new line of athletic attire called Air Chavez.

    Comment by CV — Tuesday, February 19, 2008 @ 3:37 pm

  4. Well, Paul would, and he’s still technically a presidential candidate. Although I can hear about 20 pundits of various sorts jumping up at one more opportunity to point at he has no chance.

    The line about bringing down Castro in less then 50 years was dead on. I may be latino and anti-Castro, but I am also fairly fond of results, of which our embargo has had little to none.

    Comment by Li — Tuesday, February 19, 2008 @ 4:09 pm

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