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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
'I'll be out by 100' says Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro has outlasted nine US presidents
Three weeks before his 80th birthday, Cuban President Fidel Castro has joked that he has no plans to be in power when he is 100 years old.

He was addressing 100,000 people who were marking the anniversary of the start of the 1953 Cuban Revolution.

Mr Castro used his speech to make fun of the US, which has set up a $80m (43m) fund to "boost democracy" when the communist leader dies.

In power since 1959, Mr Castro has so far outlasted nine US presidents.

'Little neighbours'

Mr Castro travelled to the eastern city of Bayamo to celebrate the anniversary of the assault he led on the Moncada barracks which sparked the revolution.

"Granma [province] doesn't need any Yankee transition plan to vaccinate and teach our people to read and write," he said in reference to the fund that Washington says will help the Cuban people in their "transition from repressive control to freedom".

Mr Castro said more Cubans were reaching 100 thanks to his government's social services.

"But our little neighbours to the north should not fear, I am not planning to be in office at that age," he added.

The Cuban leader turns 80 on 13 August.

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Country profile: Cuba
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