Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fidel retires

Cuba's ailing leader Fidel Castro has announced he will not return to the presidency, in a letter published by official Communist Party paper, Granma.

"I neither will aspire to, nor will I accept, the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief," he wrote in the letter.

Despite multiple assassination and invasion attempts Fidel stayed in power until he chose to give it up. Although he turned Cuba into a totalitarian police state he also ushered in one of the highest standards of living in Latin America - as measured by literacy levels and public health if not in consumer goods.

I suspect that a lot of haters expecting Cubans to turn on socialism overnight are in for disappointment, as well as die-hard old fashioned communists who think nothing will change. Whatever else happens, expect Cubans to find their own way forward.

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