Fidel Castro Retires

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The news of his retirement was contained in a statement published on the website of the Communist Party's Granma newspaper.

"To my dear compatriots, who gave me the immense honour in recent days of electing me a member of parliament ... I communicate to you that I will not aspire to or accept ... the position of president of council of state and commander in chief," Castro said in his statement.

Castro said he would not seek a new presidential term when the National Assembly meets on February 24.

The National Assembly or legislature is expected to nominate his brother and designated successor Raul Castro as president in place of Castro, who has not appeared in public for almost 19 months after being stricken by an undisclosed illness.

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Love him or loath him it really feels like an historic day. That man came to power the year I was born. There would be very few world leaders that have been in power for your whole life.

The only other one I can think of would be the Queen of England.

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