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Lawmakers React to Castro Stepping Down

February 19th, 2008 by flanews

State lawmakers of Cuban heritage are downplaying the significance of Fidel Castros announcement that he is stepping down. State Representative David Rivera said he expects business as usual in Cuba.

Castros resignation as president means absolutely nothing because the post of president or the council of state that the president oversees has no practical importance inside Cuba. The country is run by the communist party and until he resigns from the prolate bureau or the central committee or as first secretary of the Communist party, there will be no real change in Cuba, Rivera said.

House Speaker Marco Rubio said Tuesdays announcement is nothing more than a sham, designed to convince people there are free elections in Cuba.

He took over by force, hes maintained power by force, his brother will hold on to power by force. There is no formal governmental process, said Rubio. Theyre creating all this perception that there is but hes a dictator. And really the only true transition in Cuba, the only news thats newsworthy out of Cuba will be the day they announce that theres going to be free and open elections. And until such time, nothings changed.

Governor Charlie Crist echoed much of the same sentiment. The governor
said he has been in contract with state and Miami authorities and says he doesnt expect much of a change in Cuba.

Its a formalization of the way things have been for the past year and a half there. Our hope, obviously, is that eventually, sooner than later, the island moves to freedom, democracy and the kind of liberty we enjoy here in America, Crist said.

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