Castro 'delegates' his party powers

Ageing Cuban leader hands over communist party duties due to ill health.

    Fidel Castro officially resigned as president in February 2008 after 49 years in power [Reuters]

    Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said his frail health has forced him to delegate his powers as head of Cuba's Communist Party, suggesting that he might have resigned his last leadership post.

    State-run media said on Thursday that he told students in a Wednesday meeting he was not with them in his position as the ruling party's first secretary.

    "I got sick and did what I had to do - delegate my powers," Castro said. "I cannot do something that I am not in condition to dedicate to full time."

    Castro provisionally ceded his presidency to his brother Raul Castro in 2006 after undergoing surgery for an undisclosed intestinal ailment.

    At least in name, Castro has remained, since 2008, head of the Communist party, Cuba's only legal political party, which has scheduled a congress in April to determine the island's future economic policy.

    Castro ruled the island nation for 49 years after taking power in a 1959 revolution.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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