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Feb-19-2008 00:17printcomments

Cuba's Fidel Castro Resigns Over Health Issues

Fidel Castro resigns after 48 years.

Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro is stepping down
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

(HAVANA, Cuba) - After serving Cuba for nearly half a century, Fidel Castro has resigned as President and commander in chief. Sources close to Castro say his age and illness affected the timing of the move.

For now, Cuba is in the hands of Castro's younger brother, Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz. This is not likely to represent a breakthrough at least with the current administration, as the United States government is holding fast to their position that they will not deal with either of the Castro brothers.

Fidel Castro handed over power temporarily to his brother Raul another time, in July 2006, when he underwent intestinal surgery.

Castro first attracted attention in Cuban political life through nationalist critiques of then President Batista and the United States political and corporate influence in Cuba.

He gained a small but dedicated following and also drew the attention of government authorities.

He eventually led the failed but famous 1953 attack on the Moncada Barracks which led to his captured and conviction. After being imprisoned for some time, he was released and his political motivations continued.

Castro's next move was a relocation to Mexico where he organized and trained for the guerrilla invasion of Cuba that took place in December 1956.

Castro was friends and allies with Ernesto "Che" Guevara joined the group of rebels and became an important force in shaping Castro's evolving political beliefs.

Guevara's observations of the misery of the poor in Latin America had already convinced him that the only solution lay in violent revolution.

Castro led the revolution in 1959 that overthrew Fulgencio Batista. After that he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Cuba.

Castro became First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba in 1965, and led the transformation of Cuba into a one-party socialist republic.

In 1976 he became president of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers. He also assumed total command of Cuba's military defense forces.

His Communist politics and economic policies led to the rapid centralization of Cuba's economy, development and modernization of Cuba's agriculture, land reform, collectivization, and the expropriation of leading Cuban industries.

It is interesting to note that a man often despised especially in the West over his Communist politics, first became involved as a young law student who was witnessing tremendous political upheaval on campus.

Since the fall of president Gerardo Machado in the 1930s, student politics had degenerated into a form of gangsterismo dominated by fractious action groups, and Castro, believing that the gangs posed a physical threat to his university aspirations, experienced what he later described as "a great moment of decision."

The future President eventually became involved in the violent battles and disputes which surrounded university elections, and he was implicated in a number of shootings.

Special thanks to Wikipedia for information in this article

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Henry Ruark February 20, 2008 8:49 am (Pacific time)

To all: There are a number of very similar circumstances in our past U.S. history which now, in the 21st Century, demand new study and perhaps even a new approach. Many millions here are now beginning to learn much that has been hidden in such past historical happenings, which may well change what it is we feel we need to do in a more civilized and democratic new study demanded by the circumstances of this new Century.

M Gomez February 19, 2008 2:57 pm (Pacific time)

My family prayer is that democracy comes soon to Cuba. We need to continue the embargo until we see free and open elections and not before.

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