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Cuba's Raul Castro steps down as head of the Communist Party

The Castros have led Cuba for roughly six decades.

Updated: April 16, 2021 - 11:53am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Cuba's Raul Castro is stepping down Friday as leader of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Castro, 89, announced three years ago that he planned to step down in 2021, and is expected to keep his word.

Castro and his brother, the late Fidel Castro, have been in power on the island nations since they won their revolution in 1959. Raul was made president in 2008 as his brother's health was failing.

The announcement is expected to come as Castro gives his remarks during Friday's Congress for the Cuban Communist Party, "the supreme body" of the only legal, political party, according to CNN.

"After that," Castro said of his planned retirement in 2018, "If my health permits it, I will be just one more soldier with the people defending this revolution."

President Miguel Diaz-Canel, a sort of protege of Castro's, is expected to take over as the next party secretary-general, according to Yahoo News.

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