Raúl Castro, 89, announced on Friday (16) that he is leaving the command of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), ending a period of more than six decades in which he and his older brother, Fidel Castro (1926-2016 ), were in the leadership of the country.
The decision, which was already expected, was announced immediately in the opening speech of the party’s congress, which is expected to last four days in Havana, amid protests by groups calling for changes in the Cuban regime.
In his speech, Raúl said that the new leaders are figures loyal to the Communist Party “full of passion and anti-imperialist spirit”, with decades of experience and work to rise through the ranks of the institution.
At the last congress, in 2016 – the meeting takes place every five years – Raúl had said that this would be the last led by the “historical generation” that fought in Sierra Maestra, in reference to the Cuban Revolution (1959).
His successor, already announced, will be Miguel Díaz-Canel, 60, who currently leads the regime as president. In the complex Cuban political system, two structures coexist: that of the state and that of the party. In 2018, Raúl gave Díaz-Canel the official command of the country, but kept the leadership of the acronym in his hands – until this Friday.