There’s a “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” quality about this, but Fidel Castro has announced that he’s done as president of Cuba, just a short 49 years into his tenure. With his failing health, perhaps he was worried about being able to fulfill his next 49-year term.

An ailing Fidel Castro stepped aside as Cuba’s leader Tuesday, ending nearly a half-century of rule that saw him become an arch-enemy of 10 U.S. presidents as head of one of the world’s last communist nations.

Castro, 81, announced his decision in a letter posted in the online edition of the Communist Party daily Granma, which has been his main form of communication since July 2006, when a crippling illness rendered him too weak to appear in public.

His 76-year-old younger brother, spry spring chicken Raul Castro, will officially take the reins unless the rubber stamp parliament decides to go in another direction.

Michelle has a great round-up complete with Zombie Fidel. I say the Fidel Death Watch is on. I have a cigar waiting for that day.

Babalu Blog has Castro’s letter of resignation. He lets Hollywood and the left down easy.

Exit question: With a (slight) changing of the guard, is it time to lift the embargo and push the Commies over with a firehose full of trade?