Fidel Castro Steps Down: For Real This Time
04/19/2011 - 15:00 ||
For real, for real?
Fidel Castro, who first stepped out of the limelight (sort of) after becoming seriously ill in 2006, then handed over power to his brother Raul Castro in 2008, has made it official. He resigned his role as secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party on Tuesday.
Though he wrote of the need for younger leaders in a column called “Reflections of Fidel,” Castro, 84, in fact, leaves power with the old guard still intact: Raul, 79, officially replaces him, with Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, 80, taking the number 2 post. Number three in the party pecking order is Ramiro Valdes, 79.
He also made a surprise appearance at the closing session of the Communist Congress but did not speak. The man who first came to power in Cuba in 1959 also approved Raul’s recommendation to limit presidential terms to two consecutive five year terms.