Image

2:09 PM / Sunday January 16, 2022

23 Apr 2021

Raul Castro confirms he’s resigning, ending long era in Cuba

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
April 23, 2021 Category: Week In Review Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: In this Feb. 8, 1986 file photo, Cuban President Fidel Castro, left, joins hands with his younger brother Raul Castro, chief of the Cuban Armed Forces and first vice president, after the two were reelected during the 3rd Cuban Communist Party Congress session in Havana, Cuba. For most of his life, Raul Castro played second-string to his brother, but for the past decade, it’s Raul who’s been the face of communist Cuba. On Friday, April 16, 2021, Raul Castro formally announced he’d step down as head of the Communist Party, leaving Cuba without a Castro in an official position of command for the first time in more than six decades. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi, File)

ASSOCIATED PRESS 

HAVANA — Raul Castro said Friday he is resigning as head of Cuba’s Communist Party, ending an era of formal leadership by he and his brother Fidel Castro that began with the 1959 revolution.

The 89-year-old Castro made the announcement last Friday in a speech at the opening of the Eighth congress of the ruling party, the only one allowed on the island.

He said he was retiring with the sense of having “fulfilled his mission and confident in the future of the fatherland.”

Castro didn’t say who he would endorse as his successor as first secretary of the Communist Party. But he previously indicated that he favors yielding control to 60-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel, who succeeded him as president in 2018 and is the standard bearer of a younger generation of loyalists who have been pushing an economic opening without touching Cuba’s one-party system.

Image

His retirement means that for the first time in more than six decades Cubans won’t have a Castro formally guiding their affairs, and it comes at a difficult time, with many on the island anxious about what lies ahead.

The coronavirus pandemic, painful financial reforms and restrictions imposed by the Trump administration have battered the economy, which shrank 11% last year as a result of a collapse in tourism and remittances. Long food lines and shortages have brought back echoes of the “special period” that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Discontent has been fueled by the spread of the internet and growing inequality. Much of the debate inside Cuba is focused on the pace of reform, with many complaining that the so-called “historic generation” represented by Castro has been too slow to open the economy.

In January, Diaz-Canel finally pulled the trigger on a plan approved two congresses ago to unify the island’s dual currency system, giving rise to fears of inflation. He also threw the doors open to a broader range of private enterprise — a category long banned or tightly restricted — permitting Cubans to legally operate many sorts of self-run businesses from their homes.

This year’s congress is expected to focus on unfinished reforms to overhaul state-run enterprises, attract foreign investment and provide more legal protection to private business activities.The Communist Party is made up of 700,000 activists and is tasked in Cuba’s constitution with directing the affairs of the nation and society.

Fidel Castro, who led the revolution that drove dictator Fulgencio Batista from power in 1959, formally became head of the party in 1965, about four years after officially embracing socialism.

He quickly absorbed the old party under his control and was the country’s unquestioned leader until falling ill in 2006 and in 2008 handing over the presidency to his younger brother Raul, who had fought alongside him during the revolution.

Raul succeeded him as head of the party in 2011. Fidel Castro died in 2016.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Education

Fire victims left lasting impression at Philadelphia school

January 14, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Balloons are released during a vigil by the Bache-Martin School to...

Commentary

SUNrise: cj speaks… Searching for nouns to describe our current lives – Blessed 2022!

January 14, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Personally, I really don’t know how to identify my new year; things are...

Color Of Money

Five strategies for a successful hybrid workplace

January 14, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the work lives of many, especially those...

Stateside

Gov. Wolf announces efforts to increase statewide hospital, long-term care capacity

January 14, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Acting Pa. Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter Photo/official Twitter acct.)  Gov....

Week In Review

Arbery killers get life in prison; no parole for father, son

January 14, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Ahmaud Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones, center, reacts as Superior Court Judge...

Sports

Eagles hope to dethrone defending champion Tampa Bay Bucs

January 14, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email By Chris MurrayFor the Philadelphia Sunday SUN Above photo: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff