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Raul Castro Announces Retirement Of Parliament Chief Ricardo Alarcon In Shakeup Of Cuba's Party Leadership

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Cuban President Raul Castro (R) walks with the President of the National Assembly Ricardo Alarcon (L), on December 18, 2010 in the National Assembly (Cuban Parliament) at the beginning of a session dedicated to discuss economy reforms. (ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty

HAVANA -- Cuba's president has announced the removal of former Parliament chief Ricardo Alarcon and several other leaders from the Communist Party's powerful Central Committee.

In comments broadcast on state-television Tuesday, Raul Castro made clear that those leaving the 118-strong committee had not made any mistakes or committed any crimes. He said they were moving on in the normal course of events.

"This door leads out, without it constituting any demerit," Castro said. He spoke at a previously unannounced meeting of the Central Committee.

Alarcon, 76, was one of Cuba's most visible politicians and the point person for relations with the United States. He stepped down as parliament chief in February.

Among the others removed were Jose Miguel Miyar Barruecos, 81, who was secretary of the Council of State for three decades, and Misael Enamorado, 60, the party chief in Santiago de Cuba.

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