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Fidel Castro says Raul in charge
Fidel Castro has said in a newspaper column that his brother Raul is fully in charge as Cuba's new president. But he said that the recent promotion of two generals to the country's governing body was his idea.

He had also been consulted about the nomination of Jose Ramon Machado Ventura as first vice president, Fidel Castro said.

Raul Castro, 76, was unanimously elected as the new president of Cuba by the National Assembly on Monday.

He had been acting president since July 2006 when Fidel, now 81, was taken ill.

"Raul has all the abilities and the legal and constitutional rights to lead our country," Fidel Castro wrote on Friday in a column in the Communist newspaper Granma.

In other comments, he defended the appointment of generals Lopez Miera and Cintra Frias to the top level of government.

"The chessboard pointed to these alternatives," he wrote.

Fidel Castro noted that both generals, in their mid-60s, were younger and had "much more military experience" than the 71-year-old US presidential candidate John McCain.

In his article, Fidel Castro referred to Mr Machado Ventura, 77, as the government's number two.

Many Cubans and analysts had expected the appointment of a much younger figure.

"You can now hear the howls of the wolves trapped by their tails," Fidel wrote.

"What rabidness is provoked especially by the election of Machadito as first vice president."

Since he fell ill in July 2006, Fidel Castro has been writing regular newspaper columns under the title of Reflections of the Commander in Chief.

Friday's column was written - as promised in his resignation letter last week - under the headline Reflections of Comrade Fidel.
18 Oct 2008 by admin
The Havana Journal

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