Page last updated at 12:59 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Cuban officials 'admit mistakes'

Felipe Perez Roque, left, and Carlos Lage
Felipe Perez Roque, left, and Carlos Lage were criticised by Fidel Castro

Two top officials ousted in Cuba's cabinet shake-up have acknowledged "mistakes" in letters published in the Communist Party daily newspaper Granma.

Cabinet Secretary Carlos Lage and Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque confirmed they had resigned from all government and Communist Party posts.

They are among 10 officials removed by leader Raul Castro on Tuesday.

It was the first big reshuffle since Mr Castro took over as president from his older brother, Fidel, last year.

The two ousted men had been seen as possible future presidential candidates.

In the letters, Mr Lage and Mr Perez Roque acknowledged "mistakes" and accepted "responsibility" for them.

Criticised by Fidel

Following the reshuffle, Fidel Castro is believed to have referred to the men when he described two high-profile politicians recently dismissed from office as "unworthy".

The two had become seduced by "the honey of power", Mr Castro said in an online article.

Mr Perez Roque was removed outright from the cabinet while Mr Lage briefly held on to his post as one of Cuba's vice-presidents of the Council of State.

Correspondents said Raul Castro was putting his personal stamp on a government that still bore the mark of his brother.

Many of those dismissed were Fidel loyalists - including Mr Lage and Mr Perez Roque.

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Fidel Castro backs Cuba shake-up
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New York Times Castro Appears, Online - 13 hrs ago
Miami HeraldAnother leading official ousted - 27 hrs ago
Los Angeles Times Ousted Cuban officials resign all posts - 27 hrs ago
Washington Post 2 Cuban officials resign all party, gov't posts - 34 hrs ago
Sydney Morning Herald Shock cabinet shakeup jolts Cuba - 39 hrs ago
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