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Raul Castro calls up Cuban militia

Aug. 18, 2006 at 12:18 PM

HAVANA, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Cuba has activated thousands of militia after the transfer of power from Fidel Castro to his younger brother Raul, the Granma state newspaper reported Friday.

Speaking for the first time publicly since he assumed temporary authority July 31, Raul Castro said he had decided to substantially raise "our combative capacity and readiness."

He said he made the decision due to the "political/military situation that has been created."

Though communist Cuba officially says Fidel is on the mend following surgery to repair gastro-intestinal bleeding, many speculate Raul will retain some leadership responsibilities even if Fidel does return to power.

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