HAVANA (CBS4) – Ever since he stepped down from his official roles in the Cuban government, U.S. officials have believed Fidel Castro was still in charge. Tuesday, Castro said he resigned five years ago from all his official positions, including head of Cuba’s Communist Party.
Castro made the statement because the Communist Party website still lists him as first secretary, with his brother listed as second secretary.
Fidel wrote in an opinion piece that when he fell ill in 2006, “I resigned without hesitation from my state and political positions, including first secretary of the party and I never tried to exercise those roles again.”
Castro indicated that even as his health began to improve, he remained out of state and party affairs “even though everyone, affectionately, continued to refer to me by the same titles.”
The Communist Party Congress is expected to convene in the coming weeks to pick a new party leader. It’s widely presumed that Fidel’s brother Raul will be chosen. The CPC is also expected to endorse a series of major economic changes.
If Raul ascends to the top spot in the Communist Party, it will allow the party to choose a number 2 that doesn’t have the Castro name.
That would beginning of the end of the 52 years of uninterrupted rule the Castro’s have had since they overthrew former leader Fulgencio Batista in 1959.