Castro, 84, wrote about his resignation in a column called “Reflections of Fidel.” In it, he said that he had been “almost obligated” to become the leader of Cuba in 1959 and that he was surprised to still be alive even though the “the enemy did everything possible to stop me, numerous times tried to kill me.”
He also spoke about the need for young leadership in the country and how he approved of his brother’s recommendation of term limits, a maximum of two consecutive terms of five years.
Castro also made a surprise appearance at a Communist Party Congress in the Havana, garnering a thunderous applause from the crowd. He looked unsteady on his feet as he clutched the aide's arm and at times slumped in his chair.
The change, though, may not mean much change to the way Cuba has been run for the last six decades. Castro also noted in his letter that his brother Raul still runs everything by him.
The election results also seem to point to sticking with the status quo, despite Castro’s call to the youth. Raul Castro was named first secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party and the number 2 and 3 spots went to longtime confidantes of the Castros. Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, 80, will be the second in charge, while Ramiro Valdes, a 78 year old , was named to the No. 3 spot.
See some images of Castro in his youth: