Fidel Castro has resigned as President of Cuba:
MEXICO CITY, Feb. 19 — Fidel Castro announced early Tuesday morning that he is stepping down as Cuba’s president, ending his half-century rule of the island nation.
“I am saying that I will neither aspire to nor accept, I repeat, I will neither aspire to nor accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief,” Castro, 81, said in a letter posted on the Web site of the state-run newspaper, Granma.
The announcement ends the formal reign of a man who, after seizing power in a 1959 revolution, not only outlasted nine U.S. presidents but his communist patrons in the former Soviet Union as well. Prior to the Soviet Union’s collapse, support from the Kremlin sustained Cuba as a socialist outpost on the doorstep of the U.S., and placed Castro and his country in the middle of events central to the Cold War, including the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban missile crisis.
And to finally see him out of power, while it doesn’t yet mean the dismantling to Cuba’s totalitarian state, is gratifying nonetheless.
Here’s hoping his retirement is short-lived and thoroughly unenjoyable.