Castro Says He Is Relieved To Be Stepping Down As Cuba’s President

HAVANA (AP) — Fidel Castro says he is relieved to be stepping down as Cuba’s president.

Castro wrote in a newspaper column Friday that the night before he stepped down, his conscience was clear and that he promised himself a vacation.

Castro also complained that the process of selecting the country’s next government had left him exhausted.

After nearly half a century in power, Castro announced earlier this week that he would not accept another term when parliament selects a new government on Sunday.

The column, published in both major government-controlled newspapers, focused on the United States.

Castro pokes fun at U.S. presidential candidates, saying word of his retirement had forced them to talk about Cuba.

Raul Castro has been acting president since his brother fell ill in July of 2006.