For the first time since the 1959 Communist Revolution, Cuba will be governed without a Castro directing it affairs.
Yesterday, at the 8th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party in Havanna, Raul Castro announced he was stepping down as leader of the Party and handing over to a younger generation.
Raul became leader of the party after his brother, Fidel Castro handed over the leadership of the party to him in 2008.
In his opening address to the congress, Raul said, “I concluded my task as first secretary with the satisfaction of having fulfilled my duty and confidence in the future of the fatherland.”
He however didn’t say who he would endorse as his successor as the first secretary of the Party, but he has indicated in the past that he would hand over control as the party’s next secretary-general to 60-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel.
Diaz-Canel succeeded Raul as president in 2018 and is the face of the younger elements who are considered loyal and have been pushing for an economic opening without touching Cuba’s one-party system.
Raul further said, “I believe fervently in the strength and exemplary nature and comprehension of my compatriots, and as long as I live, I will be ready with my foot in the stirrups to defend the fatherland, the revolution and socialism.”