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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 13:07 GMT 14:07 UK
Castro dominates Latin America media
Fidel Castro (file photo)
A variety of images of Fidel Castro are splashed across the press

The announcement that Cuban leader Fidel Castro has temporarily handed power to his brother after surgery has created waves throughout the Latin American media.

In Cuba itself, the proclamation in which he hands power to his brother Raul is carried in full on the front pages of leading papers like Granma, Juventud Rebelde and Trabajadores.

Radio and TV bulletins lead with the news, with Cuban TV reporting that the presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia, Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, "have wished Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro a speedy recovery".

The end of an era
Headline in Peru's La Republica

"With all our heart we hope he recovers as quickly as possible, the Venezuelan head of state said from Hanoi, where he is on an official visit," the Cuban TV report says.

The Cuban workers' paper Trabajadores publishes a recent picture of a serious-looking Castro holding up a Cuban flag in his right hand.

The news makes the front pages throughout Latin America. A bold white headline in Peru's La Republica proclaims "The end of an era".

A picture of a weary-looking Castro, head in hand, is also accompanied by a sub-head: "Castro relinquishes power".

A front-page headline in Bolivia's La Razon declares: "Fidel Castro delegates power after operation."

'Neighbours to the north'

Mexico City's La Cronica de Hoy publishes a photo of the two ageing brothers looking pensive, Fidel in a suit and Raul in the uniform of a four-star general.

It quotes Mr Castro as saying just last week that "the neighbours to the north needn't worry, I don't plan to stay in my job until I'm 100 years old".

El Sol de Mexico publishes a picture of an elderly Fidel having his arm held aloft by Raul.

"About to turn 80, the Cuban leader indicates he will be absent from his job for a number of weeks," it says.

A front-page report in Venezuela's El Universal also carries a picture of Fidel and Raul, saying the decision "is unprecedented in 47 years of power".

The man who epitomised an era
Argentina's Clarin

The story also dominates the front page of Argentina's leading paper Clarin.

Clarin shows a picture of Mr Castro with Argentina's President Nestor Kirchner during his recent attendance at the Mercosur summit in the Argentinian city of Cordoba.

It describes him as "the man who epitomised an era".

In Brazil, the Jornal do Brasil website publishes a picture of an ageing Fidel at a lectern making a speech, as part of a changing sequence of pictures illustrating the day's main stories.

Folha de Sao Paulo headlines its report "Castro cedes power because of health problem".

Raul, it says, has always been his number two "in spite of the lack of charisma and the political ability of Fidel".

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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