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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Default Fidel Castro resigns as president of Cuba

    Castro resigns as president, state-run paper reports

    HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) -- Fidel Castro announced his resignation as president of Cuba and commander in chief of Cuba's military Tuesday, according to a letter published in the state-run newspaper, Granma.

    Castro revealed his plans without notice by publishing a letter in the middle of the night in state-run newspaper Granma.

    "I will not aspire to, nor will I accept the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief," Castro wrote. "I wish only to fight as a soldier of ideas. ... Perhaps my voice will be heard."

    President Bush said Castro's decision ought to spark "a democratic transition" for Cuba.

    "The international community should work with the Cuban people to begin to build institutions that are necessary for democracy and eventually this transition ought to lead to free and fair elections," Bush said Tuesday in Rwanda. "The United States will help the people of Cuba realize the blessings of liberty." Watch Bush's reaction to Castro's resignation »

    Castro received treatment for intestinal problems two years ago and cited his "critical health condition" in the letter published Tuesday. He said "it would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer."

    He also said he realized that he had a duty to prepare Cubans for his absence.

    "My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath," he said. "That's all I can offer."

    Cuba's leaders plan to elect a president within days. Castro's brother, Raúl, the country's defense minister, has been named publicly as his successor.

    Castro, 81, captured the world's attention at the age of 32, when he led a band of guerrillas who overthrew a corrupt dictatorship in 1959. He went on to become a thorn in Washington's side by embracing communism and cozying up to the Soviet Union.

    Castro reigned in Havana with an iron hand, defying a punishing U.S. economic embargo intended to dislodge him. Watch what Castro's resignation means for Cuba »

    Castro received treatment for intestinal problems in 2006 and transferred many powers to Raúl, who is generally seen as more pragmatic.

    Ordinary Cubans have wondered whether a change in power in Cuba will lead to lower food prices, higher salaries and more freedom to travel.

    In Miami, Florida, the news came as no surprise to Janisset Rivero, the executive director of Cuban Democratic Directorate, a group that works with dissidents in Cuba.

    "I think there have been preparations taking place for quite a while to assure the crowning of Raúl Castro," she said Tuesday morning. "It doesn't mean any change to the system. It doesn't mean there will be freedom for the Cubans. One big dictator is replacing the other.

    "It will be a big deal when political prisoners are released, when political parties are allowed to organize, when the country stops being ruled by a single party."

    Polarizing figure

    To leftist revolutionaries around the world, Castro, with his ubiquitous military fatigues and fiery oratory, became a hero and patron. But for hundreds of thousands of his countrymen who fled into exile rather than live under his thumb, he became an object of intense hatred.

    Castro clung to a socialist economic model and one-party Communist rule, even after the Soviet Union disintegrated and most of the rest of the world concluded that state socialism was a bankrupt idea whose time had come and gone.

    "The most vulnerable part of his persona as a politician is precisely his continued defense of a totalitarian model that is the main cause of the hardships, the misery and the unhappiness of the Cuban people," said Elizardo Sanchez, a human rights advocate and critic of the Castro regime.

    And yet, his defenders in Cuba point to what they see as social progress made under Castro's revolution, including racial integration and universal education and health care. Instead of communism, they blame the U.S. embargo for the country's economic woes.

    "What Fidel achieved in the social order of this country has not been achieved by any poor nation, and even by many rich countries, despite being submitted to enormous pressures," said Jose Ramon Fernandez, a Cuban vice president.

    Castro's staying power was a source of irritation to Cuban exiles, who never imagined he would last so long.

    "We came here with a round-trip ticket ... because we thought the revolution was going to last days," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Cuban-American elected to Congress, who came to Florida as a child. "And the days turned into weeks, and the weeks to months, and the months to years."

    The center of the exile community is Miami, where the Cuban American National Foundation became a powerful lobbying group courted by U.S. politicians. For more than four decades, efforts to lift the embargo against Cuba went nowhere, thanks to political pressure from the exile community.

    Although Raúl Castro has been named as his brother's successor, the departure of the charismatic leader whose identity became inseparable from his revolution raises questions of how long his system can survive without him.

    "What I think will happen is that we'll see, hopefully in the future, a new set of leaders come with new ideas. And that will be a hopeful day for the Cuban people," Sen. Mel Martinez, a Florida Republican and Cuban émigré, said on CNN's "American Morning."

    Road to revolution

    Castro was born August 13, 1926, in Oriente Province in eastern Cuba. His father, Angel, was a wealthy landowner originally from Spain; his mother, Lina, had been a maid to Angel's first wife.

    Though he grew up in wealthy circumstances, Oriente was a poor area wracked by a peasant rebellion in Fidel Castro's formative years, which is thought to have influenced his political leanings.

    Educated in Jesuit schools, Castro earned a law degree from the University of Havana and offered free legal services to the poor. In 1952, at the age of 25, he ran for the Cuban parliament. But just before the election, the government was overthrown by Fulgencio Batista, who established a dictatorship that put Castro on the road to revolution.

    In 1953, Castro was one of about 150 fighters who attacked a military barracks in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Batista. The attack made him famous throughout Cuba, but it also earned him a prison sentence.

    He was released in 1955 and lived in exile in the United States and Mexico, where he organized a guerrilla group with Raúl Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara, an Argentine doctor-turned-revolutionary.

    The next year, 81 fighters landed in Cuba. Most were killed; the Castros, Guevara and other survivors fled into the Sierra Maestra Mountains along the southeastern coast, where they waged a guerrilla campaign against the Batista government that finally brought it down in 1959.

    Although the United States quickly recognized the new Cuban government, tensions arose after Castro began nationalizing factories and plantations owned by American companies. In January 1961, Washington broke off diplomatic ties.

    Less than four months later, a group of CIA-trained Cuban exiles, armed with U.S. weapons, landed at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba in a disastrous attempt to overthrow Castro.

    Two weeks after the Bay of Pigs, Castro formally declared Cuba a socialist state.

    In October 1962, Cuba became the focus of a tense world crisis after the Soviet Union installed nuclear weapons in the country. President Kennedy demanded that the Soviets remove them and quarantined the island, bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war.

    The Soviet Union backed down and removed the weapons.

    Through the years, Castro was the target of scores of CIA assassination attempts. He took delight in the fact none of them ever succeeded.


    "I have never been afraid of death. I have never been concerned about death," he once said.

    As for Castro's private life, he is believed to have fathered eight children with four women. His longtime companion, Dalia Soto del Valle, is the mother of five of his sons.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  2. #2
    Eruption lal5150's Avatar
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    the bigger and better news is when he is dead.and i wouldnt doubt it if he is dead as we speak. hard to imagine some one with his ego so big , that he would remain in hiding if he was so healthy.
    they hate if your the same , and they hate you if your different- evh

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeoHalen View Post
    Cuba's leaders plan to elect a president within days. Castro's brother, Raúl, the country's defense minister, has been named publicly as his successor.
    "Meet The NEW Boss, The Same As The OLD Boss..."

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing! InTheBeginning's Avatar
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    C'mon democracy...I need some smokes!

    A little more volume in the headphones please.

  5. #5
    Good Enough vanzefflin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    "Meet The NEW Boss, The Same As The OLD Boss..."

    Hopefully,"We won't get fooled again,........and again."
    EDDIE IS THE ULTIMATE ROCK DOG!

  6. #6
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    hope this doesn't impact my vacation there in April

  7. #7
    Sinner's Swing! Wickett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    "Meet The NEW Boss, The Same As The OLD Boss..."

    That pretty much sums it up. One would hope that this would be be the first step, however Fidel's death isn't going to be immediate like some hope it would be.
    Don't drink the Jim Jones punch. They're called theToxic Twins for a reason...

  8. #8
    Sinner's Swing! Wickett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheBeginning View Post
    C'mon democracy...I need some smokes!

    If you know the right people, you can just have your own cigars made

    Don't drink the Jim Jones punch. They're called theToxic Twins for a reason...

  9. #9
    Hot sauce on everything Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lal5150 View Post
    and i wouldnt doubt it if he is dead as we speak.
    I tend to think that is precisely the case.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeoHalen View Post
    Castro resigns as president, state-run paper reports

    HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) -- Fidel Castro announced his resignation as president of Cuba and commander in chief of Cuba's military Tuesday, according to a letter published in the state-run newspaper, Granma.
    .
    Guess I better get the ol' resume up on Monster.com. Sounds like a sweet gig.
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  11. #11
    Hang 'Em High janthraxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeoHalen View Post
    "...eventually this transition ought to lead to free and fair elections," Bush said Tuesday in Rwanda.
    Hopefully we can have one of these transitions, too!
    "Suck a fat one, faggot."
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  12. #12
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Hopefully things can start to change for the better for Cubans now. At least get some dialogue going with the US and maybe get an end to sanctions and more freedom to come and go.

  13. #13
    Eruption Icecream-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wickett View Post
    If you know the right people, you can just have your own cigars made

    I believe those were Dominicans...stupid Bob Sacamano
    Kosovo Je Srbija

  14. #14
    Baluchitherium sisca's Avatar
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    does this mean that cubans are going to stop floating up to our shores in old inner tubes?
    """"\//-/""""


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    History tells us that oppressive nations build walls to keep people IN, not out.
    (See "Berlin Wall" and "Likud Israel" for examples) ” FORD- when i told him i'd build a wall between the US and Mexico.

    then ill build it from the mexican side. -my reply.

  15. #15
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Castro wasn't around in Mexico and yet they still keep coming!

 

 

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