February 20, 2008

US military is monitoring events in Cuba

The US military is monitoring events in Cuba from its Southern Command post in Miami, following Fidel Castro's announcement that he is stepping aside as leader of the communist island. US military officials said they remain vigilant for a change of conditions in Cuba that might warrant the deployment of US troops in the region.

The US Coast Guard said it was also keeping an eye on developments on the communist island, where past dramatic political or economic changes have sparked civil unrest or mass defections to the United States. In a message published in the online version of the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma, Castro, 81, citing poor health, said Tuesday that he would not seek reelection as president when the country's national assembly meets Sunday -- in effect an announcement of his retirement as Cuba's president.

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