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Castro Explains Communist Party Resignation

Fidel Castro

03/23/11 09:56 AM ET   AP

HAVANA -- Fidel Castro is seeking to explain his peculiar revelation that he has not been in charge of the Communist Party for the past five years – a role he was widely thought to still hold.

The 84-year-old former Cuban leader says in a new opinion piece that it never occurred to him to resign, since he had already turned power over to his brother provisionally in 2006 after he fell gravely ill.

Castro says in a Wednesday opinion piece that once he began to recover "it never crossed my mind that I needed to formally and expressly resign."

Castro's belated announcement surprised many. No Cuban official has ever sought to clarify that the revolutionary icon no longer held the top Communist Party spot, and the party website still lists him as first secretary.

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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |