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Fired Cuban Officials Admit Mistakes, Resign All Posts


Two top officials ousted in Cuba's political shakeup have acknowledged their "mistakes" and resigned from all posts in the government and Communist Party.

In letters published in the official newspaper Granma, ex-Cabinet chief Carlos Lage and former Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said they assume responsibility for the errors they made, without specifying what they did.

The two men were among 10 officials removed when Cuban President Raul Castro announced a major reshuffling of his Cabinet on Monday.

Perez Roque was removed outright from the Cabinet, while Lage was removed as Cabinet chief, but held on to his post as one of Cuba's vice presidents on the policy-making Council of State.

Mr. Castro's brother, former President Fidel Castro, said he was consulted on the leadership changes and accused two of the officials of being seduced by the "honey of power" to take on an "unworthy role." Media reports say he was referring to Lage and Perez Roque.

Fidel Castro dismissed suggestions that the changes showed a shift from "Fidel's men" to "Raul's men." Raul Castro has said the changes were intended to make Cuba's government more compact and functional. He formally took over from Fidel in February 2008, after assuming power provisionally in July 2006.

A U.S. State Department spokesman, Gordon Duguid, said Tuesday the department was monitoring Cuba's political shakeup closely, but refused to elaborate.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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