Eighty-one-year-old Cuban President Fidel Castro announced early this morning he’s stepping down as the leader of the island nation after nearly five decades in power. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley welcomed the news during a stop in Webster City this morning.

"Praise the Lord, because the sooner he’s gone, it gives an opportunity for the standard of living of the Cuban people to pick up," Grassley says, "he has destroyed the economy of that country. Everybody’s very poor. You can say, ‘Well, everybody’s equal,’ but everybody’s poor."

President Bush says today’s announcement of Castro resigning as leader of Cuba since 1959 should spark a democratic transition in that country.