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Cuban leader Raúl Castro steps down

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Raúl Castro says he is resigning as Cuban Communist Party leader, ending his family’s six decades in power.

Mr. Castro, 89, told a party congress that he is handing over the leadership to a younger generation “full of passion and anti-imperialist spirit”.

His successor will be voted in at the end of the four-day congress.

The move, which was expected, ends the era of formal leadership by him and his brother Fidel Castro, which began with the 1959 revolution.

“I believe fervently in the strength and exemplary nature and comprehension of my compatriots,” he told party delegates in Havana on Friday.

Although Mr. Castro has not endorsed a successor, it is widely believed the party leadership will pass to Miguel Díaz-Canel, who took over as the island’s president in 2018.

His retirement means that for the first time six decades Cuba will not have a Castro formally guiding its politics.

Raúl has been the party’s first secretary since succeeding his older brother, Fidel, in 2011.

Fidel Castro led the communist revolution that toppled the Cuban government in 1959 when Raúl served as one of his commanders.

Fidel Castro was the country’s leader until falling ill in 2006 and in 2008 handed over the presidency to his brother. Fidel Castro died in 2016.

BBC