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Cuba's Raul Castro jokes about retiring

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

President Raul Castro jokingly said Friday he is going to retire, noting that he is nearly 82 and has the right to stop working like anyone else.

Castro made the comments as Cuba's congress is almost certain to elect him to another term on Sunday.

"I am going to resign. I am about to turn 82. I have the right to retire. Don't you believe me?", Castro said with a smile to reporters.

He spoke after accompanying Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to the old Soviet cemetery near Havana. Medvedev also had a "brotherly" meeting with aging revolutionary icon Fidel Castro, according to an official statement.

Castro is expected to be re-elected as head of the Council of State when Cuba's legislative assembly takes up its seats on Sunday after a recent election with no opposition candidates.

Castro will give a speech to the nation that day, but on Friday gave no hint of what he might say.

"It would not be right for me to say so now," he said, adding: "Listen in."

Castro will turn 82 in June. He took over for his brother Fidel in 2006.

Since taking power, Raul Castro has instituted a rule limiting presidents to two five-year terms, meaning his next term could be his last.

Castro began his first term on February 24, 2008. Until then, after succeeding his brother, he was only the acting head of state.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130222/cubas-raul-castro-jokes-about-retiring