Fidel Castro to Step Down
Cuban President Fidel Castro announced his resignation on Tuesday after 50 years in power, The New York Times reported.
The Parliament will choose a 31-member council of state on Sunday, which will pick the person to succeed Fidel Castro. The government says this is a democratic process, but according to The New York Times, Fidel Castro, his brother Raul and his inner circle will make the decision.
It is likely that Raul Castro will be made president, but Fidel Castro would still have a heavy influence. The country has been ruled by both of these men for some time. When Fidel was ill in 2006, he gave power temporarily to his brother. Since then, Raul Castro has been the man on stage, with Fidel Castro ‚Äúlurking in the wings,‚Ä? The New York Times said.
Raul Castro has been said to be more practical than his brother, more willing to admit mistakes, and open to moving towards a governmental system like China‚Äôs state-run capitalism, The New York Times said.
Despite those characteristics, few changes may actually occur. Although according to the BBC, economic changes may have to be made as a result of a growing dissatisfaction with the Cuba‚Äôs stumbling economy.
Bush, from Rwanda, immediately called for a ‚Äútransition to democracy‚Ä? in Cuba, the BBC said. The UK‚Äôs prime minister, Gordon Brown, expressed similar hopes.
According to The New York Times, few Cubans expect drastic change. In fact, Fidel Castro‚Äôs letter to the nation was met with little to no reaction. The day continued as usual. Radio and television seemed to barely acknowledge the announcement.
National Public Radio said the Cuban-American community in Miami was also very subdued. The reaction is a stark contrast to the celebrations that came in 2006 after Fidel Castro temporarily handed over power to his brother and rumors circulated that Fidel Castro was dead. This time, Cuban-Americans are ‚Äúexpressing far more caution than optimism,‚Ä? NPR said. Few expect drastic changes and many do not believe Fidel Castro is truly stepping down, NPR reported.