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US urges reform as Castro quits


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US urges reform as Castro quits

US President George W Bush has called on Cuba to prepare for free elections after Fidel Castro's announcement that he is retiring on health grounds.

 

The ailing communist leader, who is 81 and has not been seen in public since surgery in July 2006, said he would not accept a new term as president.

 

Mr Castro's brother Raul, the 76-year-old acting leader, is strongly tipped to replace him.

 

The US state department has said its embargo on Cuba remains in place.

 

It would probably not be lifted "any time soon", one senior official said.

 

The European Union said it hoped to revive ties with Cuba while China described Mr Castro as an old friend and said it would maintain co-operation with Havana.

 

Beijing has taken over as one of Havana's key economic partners, the BBC's Nick Miles reports.

 

Moscow used to fulfil that role but it was noticeably silent on the end of the Fidel era, he adds.

 

No demonstrations calling for change were reported on the streets of Havana - in contrast to celebrations by anti-Castro exiles in Miami, Florida.

 

'Blessings of liberty'

 

Speaking on a tour of Africa, Mr Bush said he regarded Mr Castro's departure as "a period of transition, and it should be the beginning of the democratic transition in Cuba".

 

The US, he added, was ready to help the "people of Cuba realise the blessings of liberty".

 

In the UK, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman said Mr Castro's departure opened the way for a peaceful transition to a pluralist democracy.

 

China described Mr Castro as an old friend and said it would maintain co-operation with Cuba.

 

Mr Castro announced his resignation in a letter published on the website of the Cuban Communist Party's newspaper Granma in the middle of the night, Cuban time.

 

He said he was "not in a physical condition" to continue as president and commander-in-chief but promised to remain "a soldier of ideas", writing essays entitled Reflections of Comrade Fidel.

 

The National Assembly is widely expected to elect Raul Castro as Fidel's successor. He has mooted major economic reforms and "structural changes".

 

But some analysts see a possible generational jump, with Vice-President Carlos Lage Davila, 56, a leading contender.

 

Raul Castro has worked to ensure a smooth political transition, keeping the army loyal to the regime and strengthening the Communist Party's hold by introducing reforms and weeding out corrupt officials.

 

He has also had the advantage of continued economic support from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the form of millions of barrels of cheap oil.

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In the immortal words of Pete Townshend "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

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Who thinks its somewhat of a surprise that Castro actually stepped down now- after so many times never doing so, even though he was just as sick?

 

The fact that he was REALLY REALLY sick?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Who thinks its somewhat of a surprise that Castro actually stepped down now- after so many times never doing so, even though he was just as sick?

 

The fact that he was REALLY REALLY sick?

 

As in :mellow::brows::x:x:x:x:x well hes always been a sick mutha! ;)

Twitter | @Insevin

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Who thinks its somewhat of a surprise that Castro actually stepped down now- after so many times never doing so, even though he was just as sick?

 

The fact that he was REALLY REALLY sick?

 

As in :mellow::brows::x:x:x:x:x well hes always been a sick mutha! ;)

 

I was thinking more along the lines of his kidneys failing.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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It's quite clear that a resignation would have been carried out for two possible reasons:

 

1. To smoke out any domestic threats to the party, while he is still physically around.

2. To provide credibility to a successor.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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It's quite clear that a resignation would have been carried out for two possible reasons:

 

1. To smoke out any domestic threats to the party, while he is still physically around.

2. To provide credibility to a successor.

 

Well, hopefully Cuba can go democratic. :lol::lol: Like that can happen... Raul.

Twitter | @Insevin

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It's quite clear that a resignation would have been carried out for two possible reasons:

 

1. To smoke out any domestic threats to the party, while he is still physically around.

2. To provide credibility to a successor.

 

Well, hopefully Cuba can go democratic. :p:lol: Like that can happen... Raul.

 

 

Castro? Maybe once a Cuban Strike Team kills his bro, Cuba will be free. Viva La Rosa! Viva La Resistance! :thumbsup::p

 

Thats pretty much what I said only not as perhaps, clear.

Twitter | @Insevin

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Oh yes, because civil wars always end so well.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Or here in the States a cheap box of wine and some ritz crackers.

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http://theatomicdanger.iforumer.com/index....theatomicdanger

One billion b-balls dribbling simultaneously throughout the galaxy. One trillion b-balls being slam dunked through a hoop throughout the galaxy. I can feel every single b-ball that has ever existed at my fingertips. I can feel their collective knowledge channeling through my viens. Every jumpshot, every rebound and three-pointer, every layup, dunk, and free throw. I am there.

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Sorry, I didn't mean civil war. :) I meant Raul, Castro's brother not coming to power.

 

Oh, well that's alright then. I'm sure he won't object too strenuously.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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