Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro- who has not been seen in public for sixteen months – has indicated that he might give up his role as head of state. Castro has held power since 1959 when he lead a revolution that toppled the then government. It is the first time he has hinted at his possible retirement.
The news was given in a letter written by the 81-year-old president which was read out on State television. “If it is that the intelligence of human beings will prevail in a revolutionary society, my duty is not to hold on to positions and to obstruct the path of younger people, but to contribute experience and ideas whose value comes from the exceptional times I have lived through.” The statement was contained in the last paragraph of the letter which was mainly about climate change negotiations.
Castro handed over power temporarily to his 76- year-old brother Raul in July 2006, following stomach surgery. Cuba’s national assembly could formalise his retirement when it approves the Executive Council in March.
Comments at the end of his letter suggest Castro may continue as an advisor on key issues for the country’s communist government.