Cautious Optimism Upon News Of Castro Resignation

MADRID, Spain (AP) — World leaders are hoping Fidel Castro’s resignation as the leader of Cuba will bring about some changes, but they aren’t holding their breath.

Spain’s Socialist government says the resignation means there’s a chance for Castro’s brother, acting leader Raul Castro, to make some reforms.

French, Danish and British leaders also say they hope Castro’s exit will pave the way for reforms and toward democracy.

But the Spanish-Cuban Foundation, an organization that helps Cuban exiles and dissidents, predicts things will remain largely unchanged, saying Raul Castro won’t “turn into a democrat overnight.”

Political dissidents freed from Cuban jails only last week are issuing a worldwide appeal for support of their pro-democracy cause.

Meanwhile, the head of Russia’s Communist Party praises Castro as a “brilliant politician,” who made the right decision to hand power to younger leaders.