Fidel Castro resigns as Cuba’s president

By News Staff | CTV News

Cuban exiles and government officials in the U.S. welcomed Fidel Castro’s announcement Tuesday that he was resigning as president of the country he has ruled for nearly 50 years.

“I will not aspire to nor accept — I repeat, I will not aspire to nor accept — the post of President of the Council of State and Commander in Chief,” read a letter signed by Castro published early Tuesday in the online edition of the Communist Party daily Granma.

In Miami’s Little Havana, many Cuban exiles gathered at cafes as motorists honked their horns in celebration.

However, the reaction was subdued in comparison to the massive crowds that celebrated in the streets when Castro handed over temporary power to his brother, Raul, in 2006.

In July of that year, Castro ceded power to his brother after announcing he had undergone intestinal surgery.

The ailing 81-year-old has ruled over Cuba since 1959 after Dictator Fulgencio Batista fled the country. In 1961, Castro declared Cuba a socialist state.

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