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Fidel Castro Resigns Cuban Presidency

The Cuban dictator says he will not accept the presidency.
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Long-time Cuban President Fidel Castro issued a surprise resignation Monday morning, saying he would not accept the country's presidency.

"I will not aspire nor accept, I repeat I will not aspire or accept, the post of President of the Council of State and Commander in Chief," he wrote in a letter to Granma, the Communist Party daily.

The move ends the near 50-year reign of the 81-year-old Castro for all practical purposes. Castro's brother Raul, 76, is expected to succeed his brother. Fidel Castro handed powers of office temporarily to his brother on July 31, 2006, when the elder Castro announced that he had undergone intestinal surgery. Since then, Fidel Castro hasn't been seen in public.

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Cubans elected a new National Assembly in January, and that body will meet for the first time Sunday to pick the governing Council of State, including the presidency.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.