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Fidel Castro hints at retirement

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Fidel Castro hints at retirement

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Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has not been seen in public for 16 months, has suggested he might give up his role as head of state. It is the first time he has evoked his possible retirement, and it could herald a new chapter in the Caribbean country’s political history.

Castro, who took power in a revolution in 1959, handed control to his brother Raul in July 2006 after undergoing surgery for an undisclosed stomach problem. Cuba’s National Assembly could formalize his retirement when it approves the executive council in March.

Comments at the end of a letter from Castro read out on television suggest he may continue as an advisor on key issues for the country’s communist government.