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Ousted Cuban officials resign all posts

March 06, 2009|Reuters

HAVANA — Two former top Cuban political figures who were fired from the Cabinet by President Raul Castro said they had made "errors" and resigned from their other official posts, completing a stunning fall from grace.

Former Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and former Cabinet chief Carlos Lage, both of whom had been seen as emerging leaders, were dismissed by Castro on Monday in a shake-up that brought eight new ministers and merged four ministries into two.

In letters published Thursday in the state-run press, the two said they had resigned from all their remaining government and Communist Party posts, in effect removing themselves from political life in the one-party system.

Fidel Castro, the former Cuban leader and Raul Castro's older brother, followed up on Monday's dismissals the next day with a public denunciation of the two, saying they had been seduced by the "honey of power" into "unworthy roles."

Lage said in his letter, which was dated Tuesday, that he also would leave his more important post as a vice president on the Council of State, Cuba's top policy-making body. He also quit the Communist Party's Central Committee and Political Bureau.

"I recognize the errors committed and I assume the responsibility. I consider that the analysis made in the past meeting with the Political Bureau was just and profound," said Lage, 57.

Perez Roque, 43, said he would also quit the Council of State, National Assembly and party Central Committee.

"I fully recognize that I committed errors that were broadly analyzed in a meeting [with the Political Bureau]. I assume my full responsibility for them," he said in a Tuesday letter.

Neither specified what errors they were acknowledging.

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