Citng his "critical health condition" Fidel Castro stepped down as Cuba's president and commander-in-chief on Tuesday, ending a tenure as head of state that lasted nearly a half century, according to Granma, the official publication of the Cuban Communist Party.
It appears Castro gave no notice of his resignation, publishing a letter in the middle of the night in the state-run newspaper Granma.
"I will not aspire to, nor will I accept the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief," Castro wrote. "I wish only to fight as a soldier of ideas. ... Perhaps my voice will be heard."
National and local media jumped all over the story Tuesday morning. However, considering that Castro ceded power to his brother Raul in July 2006, it is doubtful that the letter to Granma signifies any real change in Cuban operations.