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Fidel Castro's letter of resignation

'My only wish is to fight as a soldier in the battle of ideas.'

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The following are excerpts from an English version of the letter, as published by the Associated Press:

Dear compatriots:

... For many years I occupied the honorable position of president.... I always had the necessary prerogatives to carry forward the revolutionary work with the support of the overwhelming majority of the people.

There were those overseas who, aware of my critical health condition, thought that my provisional resignation, on July 31, 2006, from the position of President of the State Council, which I left to First Vice President Raul Castro Ruz, was permanent.... It was an uncomfortable situation for me vis-á-vis an adversary which had done everything possible to get rid of me, and I felt reluctant to comply...

My first duty was to prepare our people both politically and psychologically for my absence after so many years of struggle. I kept saying that my recovery "was not without risks."

My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath. That's what I can offer.

To my dearest compatriots, who have recently honored me so much by electing me a member of the Parliament where so many agreements should be adopted of utmost importance to the destiny of our Revolution, 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.

In short letters addressed to Randy Alonso, director of the Round Table program on National Television – letters which at my request were made public – I discreetly introduced elements of this message I am writing today.... Here are selected paragraphs from the letter sent to Randy on Dec. 17, 2007:

"I strongly believe that the answers to the current problems facing Cuban society, which has on average a 12th-grade education, almost 1 million university graduates, and real opportunities for its citizens to study without facing discrimination, require more variables for each concrete problem than those contained in a chess game. We cannot ignore a single detail; this is not an easy path to take, if the intelligence of a human being in a revolutionary society is to prevail over instinct.

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