Cuban president Fidel Castro has provisionally handed over power of his communist nation to his younger brother Raul.
according to cuban television... Castro made the move before he undergoes intestinal surgery.
The 79-year-old president has led cuba since a 1959 revolution.
his 75-year-old younger brother is vice-president and the designated successor.
Castro's secretary, carlos balenciago, read a letter he said was from the president, in which he said stress had forced him into surgery and that he would be in bed for several weeks after the operation was complete.
Raul castro also assumes control over the armed forces and the leadership of the communist party, according to the statement.